Taiwan plans to lift Covid-19 quarantine for arrivals by mid-October

TAIPEI – Taiwan is considering lifting its three-day quarantine requirement for arrivals by no later than mid-October, a top health official said, as it joins other regional holdouts moving to reopen their borders to travellers.

Officials on the island are discussing an exact date for the relaxation as a recent spike in Covid-19 cases appears to be nearing its peak, Central Epidemic Command Centre head Victor Wang said Thursday on a local radio show, Bao Dao Radio.

Earlier this month, Taiwan announced it will resume visa-free entry for travellers from countries it currently shares diplomatic ties with and the US, as well as other European nations, but retained its isolation rules and a weekly arrivals cap of 50,000.

It joins neighbouring Japan – which is mulling allowing individual tourism and lifting a daily visitor cap by next month – and Hong Kong, which is also weighing ending mandatory hotel quarantine requirements.

Mr Wang also said that authorities are planning to shift to using rapid antigen tests rather than saliva-based polymerase chain reaction ones for arrivals.

The island’s Cabinet will discuss plans to remove quarantine in a meeting on Thursday morning, it said in a statement. BLOOMBERG