Cap on visitor arrivals likely to remain
Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Minister Wang Kwo-tsai says the current weekly cap of 25,000 visitor arrivals will likely continue until at least the end of this month.
The statement comes as airlines and the travel sector are calling on the government to raise the cap - arguing that it is inadequate to meet growing international travel demand.
The transport minister says the limit was implemented to maintain healthcare capacity by preventing an influx of imported coronavirus cases, but could be adjusted in the future according to the pandemic situation.
The government introduced the cap on 15 June as part of a plan to gradually reopen Taiwan's borders. The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers.
EVA Airways President Clay Sun is urging the government to exclude Taiwanese nationals from the quota - arguing that the number of passengers booking flights from North American destinations has grown by 70% since 11 June.
This comes as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported 56,404 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, of which just 65 were imported infections. Health officials say 141 previously reported cases have now been listed as severe infections, while 68 other cases have been classified with moderate symptoms. The new severe infections include one four-month-old infant and a two-year-old boy.
A total of 65 children aged 12 years old or younger have so far developed severe coronavirus infections, of whom 18 have passed away. 115 new deaths were reported. The deceased ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s. They included 107 individuals who had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, while 48 were unvaccinated.