TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is considering an end to its quarantine requirement for all arrivals in mid-October, the Central Epidemic Command Center said Thursday.
The island has been one of the few places in the world that has held on to a quarantine for all arrivals throughout the course of the pandemic. In recent months, it has steadily reduced the previously 2-week-long quarantine.
Officials with the CECC in charge of the pandemic response announced they were planning to end quarantine and change it to seven days of self-health monitoring. But the change is dependent on the pandemic situation in Taiwan over the next week.
The expected date for the end of quarantine is Oct. 13.
Taiwan announced that starting Sept. 12, citizens from Canada, the U.S. and countries in Europe that previously had visa-free arrival could once again visit Taiwan without visas.
Under the new scheme, arrivals are still required to stay in a place that has one separate bathroom per person, and will be provided rapid tests upon arrival.
Currently, arrivals are allowed to quarantine at home, and have to do so for three days starting after the day they arrive. They must then follow up with four days of self-health management, which means they should continue to monitor their temperature and not go to restaurants.
Elsewhere, local media has also reported that Hong Kong has plans to end mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals in October, although authorities have yet to officially announce such measures.
The city, which once had among the longest quarantines in the world at 21 days, has relaxed its measures and currently requires travelers to isolate in a hotel for three days. Hong Kong leader John Lee has repeatedly stressed the need to balance controlling the spread of COVID-19 while reducing travel inconvenience.
China, which has a different quarantine requirement than Hong Kong, still requires 10 days of quarantine for arrivals.
AP video journalist Johnson Lai in Taipei and AP writer Zen Soo in Hong Kong contributed to this report.