Political Distance: Will Taiwan eventually close the island?

In the wake of new cases brought back to Taiwan, the government has announced travel restrictions for school teachers and all students below college level (i.e. not adults).  Infections worldwide have been much lower amongst children, so this is likely less about protecting kids than kids’ poor handwashing habits, bringing the disease back home with them.

[Addendum below the fold]

Virus Outbreak: Students, teachers barred from traveling overseas

The government has decided to prohibit students and teachers at high-school level and below from traveling abroad until the end of this semester due to the recent increase in the number of imported COVID-19 cases, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.

Following discussions with experts, the Executive Yuan and other government agencies, the center decided that overseas travel would be inappropriate during the pandemic and made a recommendation that the Executive Yuan require that students and teachers at institutions below tertiary level not go abroad, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.  The requirement would be in effect through the final day of classes, Chen said.

Summer vacation would allow ample time for self-quarantine.  Further down the item it says:

Prior to the CECC’s announcement, the National Students’ Rights Seminar in Taiwan, in response to the several local government following New Taipei City’s ban, said in a statement that it believed the local governments’ travel restrictions were in violation of Article 10 of the Constitution, which guarantees the “freedom of residence and of change of residence.”

Freedom of residence?  Their movement within Taiwan is not being restricted.  This nonsense isn’t going to fly, nor should it.

While Taiwan’s government isn’t using violent force to quarantine people, they’re not messing about with scofflaws who don’t follow instructions.  Good.

Virus Outbreak: Quarantine breaker fined NT$1m

Taipei officials have fined a person NT$1 million (US$33,228) for breaking quarantine, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday.

It was the first time the city has issued the maximum fine for contravening its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan.

The person, who was not identified, on Monday arrived from Xiamen, China, and according to Taiwan’s disease-prevention regulations, should have remained under home quarantine until March 23, the Taipei Department of Health said.

The person was arranged to stay at a hotel, as they refused to provide their home address when passing through customs, the department said.

However, city officials and police could not find the person in their hotel room when they visited for a control check on Tuesday, it said.

The person was later found at Kaohsiung International Airport when they tried to purchase an airplane ticket out of Taiwan, the department said.

I won’t be travelling anywhere for a while, not just because of COVID-19.  Well, I could go to some of Taiwan’s outer islands, where I’ve never been….


Level 3 is Taiwan’s highest warning for possible infections and quarantines.  Forty three European, Asian and African countries have been added to the list for mandatory 14 day quarantine.

Taiwan adds 43 countries to travel quarantine list

Under a Level 3 warning, travelers arriving from those countries will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), and any unnecessary trips to these countries should be avoided.

The 43 countries and regions are: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

These countries were added to the list because a number of Taiwanese returning from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa have contracted COVID-19, the CECC said.

What are people going to do during their 14 day quarantine?  Play Fortnite? ^o^