Health minister talks down cancellation of quarantine
Taiwan’s health minister, Chen Shih-chung, is reiterating that the "3 4" quarantine formula is the most likely next step in relaxing border restrictions. However, he's also stressing that it's currently "not the time" to cancel quarantine requirements entirely for arrivals.
The health minister has previously said the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) could announce a relaxation of border restrictions sometime this month, but the plan is based on the gradual shortening of the length of quarantine times. All arrivals are currently required to quarantine for seven days followed by an additional seven days of self-health management.
Under the "3 4" formula, they would have to spend three days in quarantine followed by four days of self-health management. There has also been talk of a "0 7" formula, which implies cancelling quarantine entirely and only maintaining self-health management protocols. The government has been stressing that any relaxed border rules will first only be applicable to business travellers.
This comes after the health minister says the CECC expects the daily number of new coronavirus cases to decline next week even though the daily caseload bounced back to over 80,000 for a third consecutive day on Wednesday. According to the health minister, the national daily caseload is likely to fall next week, but it will take a little longer before it drops below 1,000.
In other Covid news, the CECC says nearly 400,000 breakthrough coronavirus infections were reported from between January and mid-May. Figures show that 398,837 people aged 18 and older who have received three doses of a coronavirus vaccine experienced a breakthrough infection with the Omicron variant.
That accounted for 3.03% of the total number of fully vaccinated individuals while 145,621 people aged 12 and older who received two doses of a vaccine, experienced a breakthrough infection, accounting for 3.63% of the total.
The government began administering fourth coronavirus vaccine shots for people aged 65 and above and other high-risk groups last month and is now evaluating whether to expand access to fourth shots to more people.