Taiwan imposes stricter quarantine rules for aircrew, effective from Friday

A China Airlines' aircraft is pictured at Taoyuan airport in this undated file photo. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) said Monday that aircrew members are now required to undergo 7-days self-quarantine and follow enhanced protocols of 7-day self-health management during which the use of public transportation and visits to crowded venues will be prohibited.

If a crew member violates the regulations, effective from Jan. 1, he or she will face a fine up to NT$1 million (US$35,558), the health authorities said in a weekly press conference.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) reported 8 more imported COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the tally to 793. (Courtesy of CECC)

In the press conference, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced stricter quarantine measures for flight crews and required airlines to strengthen control of overseas stations and in-flight hygiene protocols.

Under the new agreement, crew members on long-haul flights or entering other countries must complete a 7-day home quarantine upon their return to Taiwan and will be tested for COVID-19 at the end of their quarantine period.

If they test negative, they are permitted to leave the facilities and continue the 7-day self-health regulation, Chen said.

According to the new protocols, crew members can have another long-haul flight within seven days upon arrival in Taiwan, but they must stay in company dormitories, designated quarantine centers during their stay in Taiwan.

Currently, commercial airline pilots arriving in Taiwan are required to self-quarantine for three days, and flight attendants for five days, at a hotel or at home.

The announcement came after the report of Taiwan’s first local infection since April, which led many to place the blame on the infection source: Case 765, a New Zealand pilot from EVA Airways.

On Dec. 22, CECC said that the pilot was uncooperative during contact tracing and even refused to don a face mask during the flight.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 793 cases of COVID-19, 698 of which have been classified as imported.