Ten African countries that were listed by Taiwan as "key high-risk" areas for COVID-19 in late November will be removed from the list on Jan. 12, allowing travelers more choice when deciding how to quarantine, but requiring them to cover the cost of their accommodation.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) listed South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Egypt, and Nigeria as "key high-risk" countries after the then-newly detected Omicron variant began to spread there in late November.
Under CECC regulations, travelers who have been to or transited through such "key high-risk" countries in the last 14 days before entering Taiwan are required to quarantine at a government-designated facility for 14 days after arrival, though they do not have to pay for accommodation.
They are also barred from choosing the "10+4" and "7+7" quarantine plans that the CECC has made available for travelers coming into Taiwan from Dec. 14 - Feb. 14, which allows people to stay in a hotel or government facility for the first 10 or seven days of quarantine and spend the rest of quarantine at home.
Now that Taiwan has accumulated more experience in dealing with the Omicron variant, the CECC has decided to remove all 10 countries from the list starting from Jan. 12, the CECC said in a statement Monday.
The revised classification will allow travelers from the 10 countries to choose to quarantine at a government facility or designated hotel and opt for the "10+4" and "7+7" plans, though they will now be required to pay for accommodation, the CECC said.
The CECC will assist travelers from the 10 countries if they have trouble booking quarantine accommodation, it said.
As of Jan. 7, Taiwan had confirmed two Omicron variant infections among the 162 arrivals from the 10 countries listed as "key high-risk," and 138 imported Omicron cases in total. Of the 138, 84 came from the United States, 12 were from the United Kingdom, and eight were from Kazakhstan, CECC data shows.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel