Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Crew members arriving on long-haul flights are still required to quarantine for at least five days, unless it is proven that they have been fully vaccinated in Taiwan against COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Wednesday.
Currently, Taiwan does not recognize COVID-19 vaccination records issued in any other country, the CECC said, commenting on reports that some 30 foreign pilots who had been fully vaccinated in the United States were required to quarantine on arrival in Taiwan.
Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, said the quarantine protocol is being maintained for long-haul flight crews because the COVID-19 situation remains tense in Taiwan, and there is also the threat of other variants of the virus, which could exacerbate the problem.
The mandatory five-day quarantine requirement, however, does not apply to long-haul flight crew members who have been fully vaccinated in Taiwan, according to the CECC.
Once those crew members test positive for antibodies 14 days after their second shot, they do not need to be quarantined, the CECC said.
They will only be required to conduct regular self-health management for seven days after their arrival in Taiwan and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 on the last day, it said.
On June 12, the CECC revised its regulations for long-haul flight crew members, mandating a five-day quarantine period and a PCR test on the last day for those who were not fully vaccinated in Taiwan.
After quarantine, the crew members are required to follow "enhanced self-health management" rules for nine days, during which they are not be permitted to take public transportation or visit crowded areas, according to the CECC regulations.
They are also required to keep a record of their daily activities and everyone with whom they come into contact, and get two rapid tests for COVID-19, the CECC said.
Starting July 1, the CECC said, the regulations will be tightened, requiring a seven-day quarantine period and another seven days of enhanced self-management for long-haul flight crew members who have received their first COVID-19 shot in Taiwan.