Taiwan eases quarantine rules for travelers from Philippines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 5) — Travelers from the Philippines who are entering Taiwan will no longer be required to complete their 14-day quarantine in a government facility upon their arrival, citing the declining number of recorded COVID-19 cases in the country.

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center on Wednesday announced that starting Nov. 9, asymptomatic travelers from the Philippines can complete their mandatory two-week quarantine and additional seven-day health management in the comfort of their home.

Taiwan is host to over 100,000 migrant Filipino workers, but it was not immediately clear what rules govern tourists from the Philippines who are on short-term visits.

State media Central News Agency added those with symptoms within 14 days before their trip will undergo two RT-PCR swab test and have to stay in a government-designated quarantine facility while awaiting test results. It also reported that travelers from the Philippines are no longer required to undergo COVID-19 testing at the end of the quarantine period if they are not showing flu-like symptoms.

The Central Epidemic Command Center, in a social media post, noted that the revision in the guidelines is due to the "slowdown of the epidemic in the Philippines." It said cases peaked in June, but has been seeing a decline since mid-August. The Philippines on Wednesday recorded its lowest coronavirus infections in three months with only 987 new cases; However, this was partly due to delayed reporting of testing laboratories because of the recent onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly.

Taiwan was recently lauded for marking its 200th consecutive day without a locally-transmitted COVID-19 case while much of the world struggles to contain new waves of the pandemic.