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In response to rising COVID-19 cases in China, effective Jan. 1, 2023, testing measures for travelers from China to be strengthened; such travelers should undergo 7-day period of self-initiated prevention and take rapid tests after entry (C/12-2)

On December 28, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that, in response to the rising cases in China and to detect high-risk variants in a timely manner, passengers arriving in Taiwan from four Chinese airports on direct cross-strait flights and those coming to Taiwan through the special travel arrangement for the residents of Kinmen and Matsu counties during the Lunar New Year holiday will be required to undergo a saliva-based PCR test at the airport (or port) of entry, starting from January 1 to January 31, 2023 (incoming flight's scheduled arrival time). The current policy of suspending the entry of Chinese tourists remains. After undergoing a PCR test at the airport, such travelers should go to their place of accommodation to undergo a seven-day period of self-initiated prevention and take COVID-19 tests during that period. Passengers who test positive should follow the 5+n home care policy and practice self-health management. Samples from people positive for COVID-19 will be sent to the Kunyang Laboratory of Taiwan CDC for virus genome sequencing.

The CECC pointed out that China's recent adjustment of COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures, coupled with its opaque COVID status and steep increase of infected persons, countries such as Japan and Italy have introduced new border control measures. The new border control measures include strengthening comprehensive screening, flight controls and other strict measures for inbound Chinese travelers. The CECC expected that China's epidemic situation may also impact Taiwan's epidemic prevention measures and medical capacity.

The CECC further explained that the pandemic situation of COVID-19 is unpredictable. In addition to the strengthened screening for inbound travelers from China, other travelers that experienced COVID symptoms 14 days prior to entry should actively contact the quarantine personnel at the airport (or port) for health assessment and saliva sample collection. And when taking a ride to the residence, travelers must wear a mask and keep hands clean.

The CECC emphasized that all inbound travelers will receive rapid COVID test kits upon arrival in Taiwan. After entering Taiwan, travelers should comply with the 7-day self-monitoring regulations. COVID testing should be carried out on the day of entry or on the first day of self-monitoring period, and when the traveler is experiencing COVID symptoms. These measures are put in place to protect the travelers and Taiwan nationals. During the self-monitoring period, travelers must carry a 48-hour negative rapid test result. Those who tested positive for COVID should undergo the 5+n home quarantine and self-health monitoring in accordance with the regulations.