Taiwan mulls cancelling PCR test for low-risk countries
Health minister Chen Shih-Chung says Taiwan is considering lifting pre-flight PCR Covid-19 testing requirements for arrivals from low-risk countries. Currently, all arrivals to Taiwan must present a negative PCR result, taken within 48 hours of their flight, when they board their plane.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says, while it is unlikely that future travellers will be allowed to use a rapid test in lieu of a PCR, it is considering waiving the requirement altogether, for those travelling from low-risk countries, although it has not yet provided a timeline for any possible change.
As for cancelling the three-day quarantine requirement for arrivals to Taiwan, Chuang said that countries with quarantine regulations typically lifted them only after they began reporting low case numbers, and that Taiwan's case numbers may still see an increase over the summer, due to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. Therefore, there are no plans to change the current “3 + 4” quarantine measures (3 days of isolation followed by 4 days of “self-help management”.
This comes after the CECC reported 36,015 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, all but 101 of which were domestic infections, and 103 deaths from the disease. The individuals whose deaths were reported Tuesday ranged in age from their 30s to 90s. Forty of those who died were unvaccinated, while 94 had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases. The CECC says that of the nine deaths without chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, four were unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, the centre also reported that 94 previously reported Covid-19 cases had become severe, while 31 other individuals had developed moderate symptoms. Among the severe cases is a 10-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).