Lifting an entry ban on overseas workers is being discussed, with people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be the first allowed in, Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said yesterday, while the Ministry of Health and Welfare updated the vaccination rate in Taiwan.
“Agencies have been discussing supporting measures once the ban is lifted, and fully vaccinated migrant workers will be given priority,” Hsu said ahead of a meeting of the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Arriving migrant workers would be required to present a certificate of vaccination and a negative polymerase chain reaction test result conducted within three days prior to departure for Taiwan, she said.
Once in Taiwan, they would undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, followed by a week of self-health management, she said, without offering any indication of when entry restrictions would be eased, except to say that it would hopefully be this year.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and health ministry officials also attended the meeting, at which they discussed labor subsidies during the pandemic after a shortage of workers that has worsened in Taiwan since a local outbreak of COVID-19 began in May.
Taiwan established an entry ban for Indonesian migrant workers in December last year as there was a serious COVID-19 outbreak there at the time.
The government has since May 19 barred all new migrant workers from entering Taiwan following a spike in local cases.
The number of migrant workers in Taiwan first exceeded 700,000 in September 2018 and in February last year exceeded 719,000, statistics from the Ministry of Labor showed.
The number fell to 699,154 in August, the data showed.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said that the government has about 1.3 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses on hand, meaning it has nearly 3 million doses of all brands, which is about how many people are waiting to receive a second dose.
About 4.1 million to 4.4 million doses are to be administered in the 12th round of the national vaccination program, which is a challenging task for local governments and healthcare providers, so the CECC is grateful for their hard work, Chen said.
“Our goal is to achieve a first-dose vaccination rate of 70 percent and full vaccination coverage of 30 percent by the end of the month,” he said.
As the first-dose vaccination rate was 58.88 percent and the full vaccination rate was about 20 percent as of yesterday, 4.7 million doses, or an average of 350,000 per day, must be administered to achieve the target, Chen added.
Additional reporting by Lee I-chia
PAPERS, PLEASE: A digital certificate or a printout would return one of three results: green for ‘pass,’ red for ‘not passed’ or yellow for ‘to be determined,’ the CECC said Starting today, people can download a Digital COVID-19 Certificate, with the government now requiring people at night clubs, karaoke bars and other businesses in “eight major special establishment categories” to be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination certificate. The eight categories include dance venues, massage parlors, hostess bars and saunas. Customers and service personnel at the venues have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as they can neither avoid contact with people nor strictly observe distancing guidelines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. As such, both groups are required to be fully vaccinated, meaning that they must have had at least a
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
ORDER OF 66 JETS: Delivering the F-16s faster and enabling Taiwan to develop its fleet into one of the biggest in Asia would be based on ‘risk assessment,’ one official said The US is looking for ways to accelerate delivery of Taiwan’s next generation of newly built F-16 jets, US officials said, bolstering the Taiwanese air force’s ability to respond to what Taipei and Washington see as increasing intimidation by the Chinese military. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they have not yet come up with a solution on how to speed up delivery of Block 70 F-16s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp and equipped with new capabilities. The aircraft are slated to be delivered by the end of 2026. Taipei has privately expressed its wish for a faster delivery
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they