Mandatory Covid quarantine to end
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says people with mild coronavirus infections will no longer have to quarantine from 20 March.
The move rolls back a policy that has been in place since 15 January 2020, when the coronavirus was designated as a category 3 communicable disease.
According to center spokesman Philip Luo, it was decided to lift the five-day quarantine and the reporting of mild or asymptomatic infections as the coronavirus situation is now easing. Luo says when the new regulations take effect on 20 March, those who test positive will no longer have to confirm their results via a telemedicine appointment, and will instead only have to monitor their health for 10 days.
People with symptomatic infections will be encouraged, but not required to stay at home until their symptoms ease or wear a face mask at all times if they choose to go out. Only moderate to severe cases that require hospitalization will be reported to the government after 20 March.
However, the Ministry of Education (MOE) says students and teachers in Taiwan should still self-isolate if they get Covid-19. Students and teachers who test positive for Covid-19 are still recommended to isolate at home for five days, with the date of testing representing "Day Zero".
It says students who isolate at home will be able to use sick leave, which will not be included in their absence record, and their parents will be allowed to take "epidemic care leave" to stay home with their children.
Teachers who are unable to work online from home may also take sick leave, as long as they can provide proof of a positive COVID test, and schools will be required to arrange for substitutes, while providing pay for any lesson plans left by the original teachers.
The MOE says students and teachers who test negative during isolation may return to class or work.