CECC to further loosen Covid restrictions
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says it will further loosen its current coronavirus policies on 7 November.
The statement comes as the number of new domestic cases have remained below at 40,000 for five consecutive days. According to centre head Victor Wang, requirements for business places and other establishments to check the temperature of people entering the premises will also be removed. However, companies will still be free to decide if they want to retain that measure.
People participating in group tours and religious activities will also no longer be required to take a coronavirus rapid test and show proof of three shots of a vaccine against the disease from 7 November.
Close contacts of coronavirus patients will only have to observe seven days of self-initiated epidemic prevention from that same date, while patients will be allowed to resume their normal activities once they obtain a negative test result after seven days of quarantine.
And that means they will not have to observe self-initiated epidemic prevention measures for another seven days, as is currently required.
In other pandemic related news, the Maritime and Port Bureau has lifted a ban on international cruises, which had been in place since February 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.The bureau says the ban is being lifted because mandatory quarantine for all overseas arrivals has now been scrapped and it is now looking forward to a swift resumption of international cruise services.
The announcement comes after the CECC approved new protocols for cruises drafted by the Ministry of Transport. Those protocols are based on similar rules introduced by the European Union, the United States and Australia. These require cruise ship passengers to present a negative rapid test taken on the day of arrival in Taiwan or the previous day.
However, passengers who display coronavirus symptoms on the day of arrival will have to produce another negative rapid test result before they are allowed entry. Cruise ships will also have to comply with instructions from the authorities here if cluster infections are found on board.
This comes as the CECC reported 26,357 new coronavirus cases on Monday and 62 new deaths. Of that total, 26,336 are domestic infections. New Taipei recorded the highest number of new cases, with 4,717. That was followed by Taichung with 3,465 and Kaohsiung with 3,009 cases.
According to the CECC, the 26,357 new infections represent an 8.6% weekly decline in the number of cases. A total of 266,020 new coronavirus cases were reported last week and that was a 14.8% decline from the previous week.Meanwhile, health officials say 61 previously reported cases have now been listed as severe, while 75 others have developed moderate symptoms.
The deceased ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s, and all but two had underlying health issues, while 32 were unvaccinated. It brings the number of coronavirus-related deaths here in Taiwan since the pandemic began to 12,385.