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Quarantine-free entry into Taiwan possible in July: Health minister

Source: Radio Taiwan International by Staś Butler

Taiwan will allow quarantine-free travel for some travelers as soon as July. Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says people coming from countries with similar infection levels to Taiwan won’t have to isolate themselves when they land.

Chen says authorities will determine a country’s infection level by looking at the number of people who caught COVID in the last seven or 14 days.

At the moment, Taiwan’s infection rate is far lower than most countries. Over the past week, for every one million people in Taiwan, about 300 caught COVID. In nearby Japan, that number is almost 3,000.

Chen told lawmakers on Monday that now is not the right time to open the borders. But he did acknowledge that Taiwan’s case numbers are rising, while other countries’ numbers are falling. That means there could come a point as early as July when Taiwan’s COVID outbreak is just as large as in other countries.

Before that happens, Chen says authorities will draw up a set of rules for determining which countries get quarantine-free entry to Taiwan. In principle, Chen says, people from countries with more serious outbreaks will still have to undergo quarantine. But people from countries with similar or lower infection levels will not have to isolate themselves on arrival.

Chen did not say whether Taiwan will open to tourism when that happens.

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