Taiwan officials expand health screenings, ban Wuhan residents, due to 2019 novel coronavirus activity. Immigration delays possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 29 Jan 2020 10:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Increased health screening
  • Location(s): Taiwan (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of Jan. 28
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times for passengers from mainland China; possible quarantine

Summary
Officials in Taiwan have expanded health screening measures at major transport hubs for passengers from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, as of Jan. 28, to combat the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Authorities have banned current or former Wuhan residents from entering the island. 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). Staff are also conducting health checks for passengers that display symptoms of the virus from all destinations. Officials have warned that mainland China passengers who exhibit pneumonia-like symptoms could face immediate quarantine. Health staff are using thermal scanners at points of entry to monitor inbound travelers from mainland China.

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.

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