Taiwan authorities increasing health screenings for travelers from mainland China as of Jan. 22. Immigration delays possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

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This alert began 22 Jan 2020 10:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Increased health screening
  • Location(s): Taiwan 
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times for passengers from mainland China; possible quarantine

Summary
Officials in Taiwan are implementing health screenings at major transport hubs for passengers from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Authorities are monitoring passengers from these areas using thermal scanners. Passengers are also required to report whether they have visited Wuhan and surrounding areas or encountered someone who was recently in Wuhan; passengers who do not report their accurate travel history could face fines of up to NTD 150,000 (USD 5,000). Officials have warned that passengers that exhibit pneumonia-like symptoms could face immediate quarantine.

Enhanced screening measures are likely to cause immigration delays for passengers from mainland China, especially at airports in Taipei (TPE, TSA) and Kaohsiung (KHH). Authorities in Taipei have also banned tour groups to and from Wuhan amid the outbreak and publicly encouraged Taiwan residents to avoid travel to Wuhan. Additional travel restrictions are possible.

Background and Analysis
The precaution follows an increase in reported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan and other eastern Chinese cities, as well as confirmed cases in Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Beijing has also confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus. As of Jan. 22, Taiwan has tested six people suspected of having the virus, but have confirmed only one imported case from Wuhan.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings if traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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

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