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Taiwan eyes mid-October end to COVID-19 quarantine on road to reopening

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TAIPEI: Taiwan aims to end its mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for arrivals from around Oct 13 and will ease other restrictions from next week as it continues to reopen to the outside world, the government said on Thursday (Sep 22).

Taiwan has kept some of its entry and quarantine rules in place as large parts of the rest of Asia have relaxed or lifted them completely, though in June it cut the number of days required in isolation for arrivals to three from seven previously.

Taiwan has reported 6 million domestic cases since the beginning of the year, driven by the more infectious Omicron variant. With more than 99 per cent of those showing no or only mild symptoms, the government has relaxed rather than tightened restrictions in its “new Taiwan model”.

Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng told reporters that from next Thursday visa-free entry will be resumed for citizens of all countries that previously had that status. The government will also increase weekly arrival limits for international travellers by 10,000 to 60,000, he said, with no more PCR tests for arrivals.

If “everything is under control”, the government is aiming to end mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from around Oct 13, with arrivals rising to 150,000 a week, Lo said.

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