Fewer inbound travelers will be let into Taiwan from January 1 after the first COVID-19 variant case arriving from Britain was diagnosed on the island, the local epidemic monitoring agency said on Wednesday.
Foreign travelers will not be allowed to enter the island from January 1, except for spouses and underage children of Taiwan residents, those who hold residence permits, and those who went to Taiwan on business, the agency said at a weekly press briefing.
Other foreign individuals might be let in for humanitarian concerns or specific permission, it added.
Entry for Chinese mainland residents will also be banned, except for spouses and underage children of Taiwan residents, those holding residence permits, and those having specific permission, the agency said.
Transferring flights in Taiwan will also be suspended from January 1.
The authority will also tighten quarantine measures from January 15. Inbound travelers will not only have to submit proof of negative COVID-19 tests issued within three days before their flight but also prove that their residences in Taiwan meet quarantine requirements.
One passenger aboard a Sunday flight from Britain to Taiwan was confirmed positive for the new variant of the COVID-19 virus. It was first detected in Britain, according to the agency.
The patient is receiving treatment in a hospital and is in stable condition, the agency said.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan has risen to 797 as of Wednesday. Among them, seven died, 666 have recovered and 124 remain hospitalized, according to the agency.