LNY quarantine measures begin
The government's Lunar New Year holiday quarantine programme has kicked off.
The programme offers people arriving in Taiwan three options for their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Travellers can now choose to spend 14 days at a quarantine hotel, they can spend 10 days at a quarantine hotel and four days at home or seven days at a quarantine hotel and seven days at home.
All require a further 7 days of self-health management at home.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says over 800 people arrived in Taiwan on the programme's first day and a majority chose to spend seven days at a hotel and seven days at home.
There are concerns that the two additional quarantine options could end in another domestic coronavirus outbreak.
But the health minister wants to set such concerns to rest, saying regulations for those situations have been in place... since last year.
Those found to have violated the more relaxed quarantine options face a maximum fine of NT$1 million.
Figures show that the island's first-dose Covid-19 jab rate now stands at just over 79%, while the second-dose vaccination rate stands at 64.5%.
Less than half of 1% of Taiwan's total population has received booster shots.
In related news, yesterday the CECC extended the current level 2 coronavirus alert until 27 December.
The decision to extend the alert means the CECC will not be adjusting face mask mandates and other disease prevention regulations for at least another two weeks.
People are still required to wear face masks while outside of their homes, unless they are doing certain things, such as eating or exercising.
The level 2 alert has been in place since 27 July after a month of reporting fewer than 100 domestic cases per day.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung has said he hopes to lower the current coronavirus alert level after the Lunar New Year holiday.
However, CECC spokesperson Zhuang Ren-xiang says that will depend on the coronavirus situation at the time and officials will be taking into consideration Taiwan's vaccination rate, and how the disease is spreading overseas.