Thailand is not implementing restrictive measures against Taiwanese due to an outbreak of COVID-19, but does require people arriving from Taiwan and other affected areas to undergo “self-observation” for 14 days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, urging people not to spread misinformation.
It is false that the Thai government requires people arriving from Taiwan, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Italy, Japan and South Korea to be quarantined for 14 days, the ministry said in a statement.
Rather, the Thai Ministry of Public Health has advised people to avoid traveling to at-risk countries or affected areas, including Taiwan, China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, and if travel to those places is unavoidable, they are required to stay at home and monitor their own health for 14 days after returning to Thailand, it said.
It is a disease-prevention measure for Thais, and does not target any other country or restrict Taiwanese, MOFA said, adding that it respects the Thai government’s decision.
Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore are listed as “other destinations with risk of community spread” by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which previously listed Taiwan under “other destinations with apparent community spread.”
The WHO on Friday upgraded its risk assessment for COVID-19 from high to “very high,” its situation reports showed.
In other developments, the Italian Economic, Trade and Cultural Promotion Office in Taipei on Friday wrote on Facebook that Italy’s restrictions for COVID-19 only affect 0.05 percent of the country’s territory, and that quarantined people only make up 0.089 percent of its total population.
The Central Epidemic Command Center on Thursday upgraded the travel advisory for Italy from a level 2 “alert” to a level 3 “warning,” meaning that all travelers arriving from Italy must undergo 14-day home quarantine.
MOFA also advised people not to visit any areas in Italy due to its worsening COVID-19 outbreak and increasing racial prejudice against Asian tourists.
“Like Taiwan, Italy has been tackling an imported health emergency. Like Taiwan, Italy is successfully dealing with it,” the Italian representative office wrote. “Italy and Taiwan: healthy, together. Milan will not stop. Italy will not stop.”
Asked for comment, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that the ministry welcomes the message: “Italy and Taiwan: healthy together,” which shows that the two countries can work together to fight the coronavirus.
“Taiwan’s message is always clear: Let us resume Taiwan-Italy flights soon to get our business on track. We are ready to move on and believe Italy could be, too,” she said, referring to Italy’s inclusion of Taiwan in its ban on flights from China until April 28.
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