International travelers transiting at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would from today be allowed to go shopping and dine in the airport’s departure areas, the airport operator said, as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) eased some border restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Taoyuan International Airport Corp said reopening borders is a global trend, and since reallowing transit passengers from June 15, the airport has continued to review its procedures to improve services and efficiency.
Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, inspected the airport on July 22, while Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯), the center’s deputy head, inspected it on Wednesday, the operator said, adding that several government agencies on July 27 sent representatives to the airport to discuss transit service improvements.
Photo: Ben Blanchard, Reuters
The operator said the eased curbs would bring more business opportunities to the airport, as transit passengers would no longer be directed to designated waiting rooms where they previously had to remain until boarding their connecting flight.
A time limit between flights of 12 hours would also be lifted, as well as a requirement that connecting flights be on a single ticket, it said.
However, the airline conducting the inbound flight would have to confirm the connection and provide check-through services for transit passengers’ luggage, it added.
The operator said COVID-19 prevention measures would remain in place to protect the safety of passengers and staff, including table dividers and checkerboard seating arrangements in dining areas.
Environmental cleaning and disinfection would be conducted in the airport’s departure and arrival areas, it said, adding that personal protective equipment would be provided to airport workers, for whom a health monitoring plan would be implemented according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s guidelines.
So far, 98.45 percent of airport workers have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, and the airport is negotiating with hospitals to provide second doses to eligible staff members, it said.
Taiwan yesterday reported 21,771 new local cases of COVID-19 and 42 deaths from the disease, the CECC said.
The deceased ranged in age from their 40s to their 90s, and all had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, it said, adding that 19 were unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Four of those who died were in their forties, two of whom had diabetes, one had a mental illness and one had a chronic kidney condition, it added.
Additional reporting by CNA
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