Taiwan bans entry of nonresident travelers after virus variant found

Dec 31 , 2020. 11 hours ago – 00:01 KYODO NEWS

TAIPEI – Taiwan will suspend entry of all nonresident travelers to the island after it confirmed its first case of the possibly more transmissible variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain, health authorities said on Wednesday.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, told a weekly briefing that starting Jan. 1, Taiwan will bar all foreign nationals, except those with a resident permit or other proper documents from entry.

Chen said in principle, those from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau will also be prohibited from entering, adding the new travel restrictions, which are expected to last for at least one month, also include flight transfers.

Chen said that the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus variant was detected in a Taiwanese who returned to Taipei from Britain on Sunday. The person who had symptoms of fever was taken to the hospital.

As of Wednesday, Taiwan has reported a total of 797 cases, most of them imported, and seven deaths, according to the CECC.