Taiwan to bar Chinese nationals residing in mainland from entry

People are seen wearing masks in this photo take on Feb. 4, 2020. (CNA)
People are seen wearing masks in this photo take on Feb. 4, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Chinese nationals who reside in mainland China (PRC, People’s Republic of China) will be barred from entering Taiwan starting tomorrow, due to the growing 2019-nCoV outbreak, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced on Wednesday.

The entry ban does not include Hong Kong and Macau residents, however they will be required to undergo a mandatory 14-days quarantine starting Feb. 7, according to a statement issued by the CECC.

Starting tomorrow, Taiwanese residents who have traveled to the two aforementioned places will also be put under quarantine for 14-days upon reentry, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.

Foreign nationals who have visited or resided in China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter Taiwan starting Feb. 7.

Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and Alien Resident Certificate (APRC) holders will be put on mandated 14 days quarantine, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部).

Central Epidemic Command Center officials prepare for a press conference on Feb. 5, 2020. (CNA)
Central Epidemic Command Center officials prepare for a press conference on Feb. 5, 2020. (CNA)

According to CECC guidelines, people placed under quarantine must stay at home, during which period local district or township officials will check their status by phone once every day. Those who refuse to comply can be punished by law.

Taiwanese residents who plan to travel to Hong Kong or Macau can apply to be exempt from the 14-day quarantine mandate ahead of departure, Chen said.

The Ministry of Interior (MOI, 內政部) will review applications and decide accordingly, Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.

As of press time, Taiwan has eleven cases of confirmed coronavirus infections, of which one is close to full recovery, according to the CECC.

Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has killed 492 people, the majority of which are in China, and infected more than 24,500 people.