Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Taiwan extends flight restrictions to mainland China, transit passengers indefinitely from April 28. Entry ban, distancing measures ongoing.

This alert affects Taiwan

This alert began 28 Apr 2020 05:17 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Taiwan (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Social distancing measures, entry ban, increased immigration and customs screening times, quarantine measures, flight disruptions

Summary
Taiwan has extended restrictions on flights to mainland China indefinitely as of April 28 to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the island. Under the measures, airlines are only allowed to fly to airports in Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (SHA, PVG), Xiamen (XMN), and Chengdu (CTU). Authorities also indefinitely extended a ban on international transit passengers. The restrictions have prompted Taiwan-based carriers China Airlines (CA) and EVA Air (BR) to cancel most flight services to mainland China. Several airlines serving international routes have also canceled flights to the island amid reduced demand.

Officials continue to encourage social distancing across Taiwan. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has advised people to remain 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart indoors and 1 meter (3 feet) apart outside. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications also announced that passengers on trains and inter-city buses, travelers entering highway rest stops, and customers at Chunghwa Post offices must wear masks. Officials have also installed thermal scanners at rail stations, airports, ports, post offices, and bus hubs across the island. Staff will deny entrance for any passenger with a fever. Enhanced screening measures are likely to cause delays at transport hubs across the island, especially at airports in Taipei (TPE, TSA) and Kaohsiung (KHH) and main railway stations. Authorities have not stipulated any penalties for defying social distancing measures. However, officials have warned that they could establish fines and other punishments in the future, depending on the public's adoption of the requirement.

Taiwan continues to ban cruise ships from docking at ports on the island. Reduced demand for travel within Taiwan has also prompted the cancellation of some high-speed rail services through at least June 21.

Travel Restrictions

An entry ban for foreign nationals also remains in place; however, exceptions are in place for foreign residents, diplomats, and business travelers executing contracts. All arriving passengers, regardless of nationality or residency, must self-quarantine for 14 days. Authorities are requiring some inbound travelers from Southeast Asian countries to undergo a 14-day quarantine at government-designated hotels. Officials will direct arriving passengers living with people with chronic illnesses, children younger than six years old, or adults older than 65 to the facilities. Health officials continue intensified screenings for arriving passengers, including blood samples from passengers who display respiratory symptoms or fever. Passengers bound for Taiwan who do not accurately report their travel history could face fines of up to NTD 150,000 (USD 5,000).

Advice
Postpone travel to Taiwan if affected by travel restrictions. Confirm entry requirements before traveling to Taiwan. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for health screenings when arriving in or traveling across Taiwan. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny, delays, and quarantine.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

 


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