Taiwan considers shortened Covid-19 quarantine for Vietnamese arrivals

By Phan Anh   June 2, 2020 | 05:16 am PT
Taiwan considers shortened Covid-19 quarantine for Vietnamese arrivals
Vietnamese citizens on a repatriation flight from Taiwan, May 29 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Airlines.
Thanks to its "low-risk" Covid-19 status, travelers from Vietnam will be quarantined only five days instead of 14 on entering Taiwan.

Chuang Jen-hsiang, spokesman for Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said the Taiwanese government is planning to apply different restrictions for travelers based on their countries of departure.

Those from "extremely low-risk" countries, such as Palau or New Zealand, can self-monitor their health, while travelers from "low-risk" countries like Vietnam or Brunei would be subjected to a five-day quarantine, Chuang said, as cited by Taiwan News.

Risk labels per country would be regularly adjusted as the pandemic continues to pan out, Chung said, adding the CECC is seeking bilateral agreements with other countries to introduce similar travel restrictions for citizens from both sides, Taiwan's United Daily News revealed.

Taiwan has banned foreign nationals from entering since March 19, except for certain cases. All entrants have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Last Friday, 343 Vietnamese citizens, including 243 pregnant women, left Taiwan on the first repatriation flight organized for Vietnamese in Taiwan since Vietnam suspended international flights on March 25. First test results for all passengers have returned negative.

As of Tuesday, Vietnam has confirmed 328 infections in total with no deaths so far. The country also recorded no community transmission for over a month and a half. Meanwhile, Taiwan has recorded 443 Covid-19 cases and seven fatalities.

Japan similarly is planning to allow travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam entry starting this summer, several Japanese national newspapers reported. Reduced Covid-19 infections in the aforementioned four countries, as well as growing calls from businesses to resume traffic, all factor in the decision.

In a phone call with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on Monday, Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said he wanted to soon hold discussions with Vietnam on resuming travel between both countries.

Vietnam has not allowed entry for foreign nationals since March 22 except those carrying diplomatic and official passports and business managers, experts and high-skilled workers. All are quarantined for 14 days.

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