The mandatory quarantine requirement is expected to be lifted on Oct. 13, replaced with seven days of self-health management. The mask rules, meanwhile, will remain unchanged.
Premier Su Tseng-chang said in a media interview before the first day of the Legislative Yuan session that the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end. Normality is not far away.
Su Tseng-chang, Premier: “Return to normal life and open borders will take place on Oct. 13.”
The government plans to loosen epidemic measures in two stages. The country's border restrictions will be lifted on Oct. 13 and mandatory quarantines for travelers would be scrapped. However, the mask mandate will continue to remain.
Hsueh Jui-yuan, Minister of Health and Welfare: “We are suggesting that the mask mandate remains in place until this winter. The reason is that the flu season is about to begin.”
Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan said the weekly cap on arrivals will be raised to 150,000 starting Oct. 13. This will be adjusted according to the situation. If mandatory quarantine is no longer required in the future, then there is no need for the electronic fence. However, there are concerns about the inability to monitor foreign travelers.
Victor Wang, Commander, CECC: “After epidemic prevention enters this stage, we will be leaning towards self-management. In regards to foreign visitors, we will ask them through their tour groups or directly to cooperate with our epidemic prevention policy.”
Will the Central Epidemic Command Center be disbanded after the border is opened? Victor Wang reiterated that the CECC will not bow out until the epidemic has slowed down to a certain extent and there are no special circumstances to deal with.
Lai Shyh-bao, Legislator (KMT): “The infectious diseases category will be downgraded from level five to level four, so there shouldn't be a command center. This is what is written in the law. So the CECC will naturally be gone.”
As for cross-strait exchanges, Minister Hsueh said that it will be further discussed. However, the Mainland Affairs Council issued a statement stating that considering humanitarian and family reunification needs, Chinese tourists can apply for entry according to regulations starting Sept. 29 when border restrictions are loosened. This includes visiting family members, attending funerals, or doing business activities.