Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Taiwan officials to quarantine some arrivals from Southeast Asia for 14 days from April 21. Social distancing measures, entry ban in effect.

This alert affects Taiwan

This alert began 21 Apr 2020 06:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 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 authorities are requiring some inbound travelers from Southeast Asian countries to undergo a 14-day quarantine at government-designated hotels from April 21 to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the island. 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. Authorities will allow travelers from the region living alone or with en suite bathrooms to self-quarantine at home.

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. As of April 21, authorities have not stipulated any penalties for defying social distancing measures, but officials have warned that they could establish fines and other punishments in the future, depending on the public's adoption of social distancing measures.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has restricted flights to mainland China; under the measures, airlines are only allowed to fly to airports in Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (SHA, PVG), Xiamen (XMN), and Chengdu (CTU) through April 29. The restriction has 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 through at least mid-April amid reduced demand. Authorities have also banned cruise ships from docking at ports on the island since Feb. 6. Reduced demand for travel within Taiwan has also prompted the cancellation of some high-speed rail services from mid-April to June 21.

Travel Restrictions

Authorities continue to ban international travelers from transiting airports on the island. An entry ban for foreign nationals also remains in place; however, exceptions are in place for foreign residents, diplomats, and business travelers executing contracts. Health officials continue intensified screenings for arriving passengers. Authorities are using thermal scanners at points of entry to monitor inbound passengers and are taking blood samples from passengers who display respiratory symptoms or fever. All arriving passengers, regardless of nationality or residency, must self-quarantine for 14 days. 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.

Resources
Taiwan Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov.tw