《TAIPEI TIMES》CECC relaxes entry regulations for ARC holders, HK, Macau
Students wearing masks have their temperature taken by staff before entering an exam hall to take the Advanced Subjects Test in Taipei yesterday. Photo: CNA
ASYMPTOMATIC: The center reported one new imported COVID-19 case, a man in his 50s returning from South Africa, taking the nation’s total to 449
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporter
Starting today, foreigners with an Alien Resident Certificate （ARC）, as well as Hong Kongers and Macanese with residency permits, can enter Taiwan without showing proof of having tested negative for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center （CECC） said yesterday.
Amid increased calls for reopening the nation’s borders, the center has gradually loosened travel restrictions for foreigners since last month.
The center on Monday allowed foreigners to apply to visit Taiwan on the condition that they are not coming for tourism or social visits, but they would need to present a report proving they tested negative for the virus within three days of their entry.
After receiving complaints about the difficulty of obtaining a report in time, the center on Thursday said that it would accept a report produced within “three working days” of entry.
Going a step further, the center yesterday said that foreigners with ARCs can, from today, enter Taiwan without having to present a negative test result.
The new rule also applies to those from Hong Kong and Macau with residency permits — whether businesspeople, or the spouses or children of Taiwanese citizens.
The center reiterated that foreign visitors without ARCs can apply to visit, but must present a report showing a negative test result, while foreigners coming for tourism or social visits are still banned.
Those allowed entry must still undergo a 14-day quarantine, while foreign businesspeople visiting for less than three months can apply to shorten the quarantine period as long as they have a negative test result, it said.
Yesterday, the center reported one new imported case, a man in his 50s returning from South Africa on Wednesday, bringing the nation’s tally to 449 confirmed cases.
The man returned to Taiwan to visit family and was apparently asymptomatic when tested for COVID-19 in South Africa, it said.
After learning on Saturday last week that he had tested negative for COVID-19, he began to experience fatigue, a fever and a throat abnormality, which local doctors had diagnosed as symptoms of a common cold, it added.
As he felt better after taking medicine, the man on Tuesday left South Africa for Dubai on his way to Taiwan, the center said.
The man was asymptomatic upon entering Taiwan, but he reported to airport personnel that he had been unwell in the past 14 days, it said, adding that after blood samples were taken, he was admitted to a hospital isolation room for treatment.
Health authorities have identified 27 people on the same flight who had contact with the man, it added.
Among them, 13 were passengers sitting near him who were placed in home isolation, while the 14 crew members adopted proper protective measures onboard and only need to practice self-health management, it said.