Specialized Cases of Overseas Students in Universities and Colleges Returning to Taiwan in Response to the COVID-19 Testing procedure instructions after the completion of home quarantine
In response to the severe worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 and in order to enhance epidemic prevention, on December 30, 2020, the announcement of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) imposed entry restrictions and enhanced quarantine measures for non-R.O.C. nationals starting from January 1, 2021.
From February 2021, in accordance with the instructions of the CECC, the Ministry of Education shall cooperate with strengthening border control measures and all universities and colleges must maintain the original standard operating procedures (before overseas students arrive in the R.O.C. (Taiwan): real name verification of entry lists, confirmation of quarantine locations and flight investigations, issuance of visas; after overseas students arrive in the R.O.C. (Taiwan): airport border controls, single check-in counter, epidemic prevention transportation, etc.). After the 14-day home quarantine, these overseas students must undertake testing for COVID-19, and the students whose test results are negative can be allowed to go outside and attend classes. The relevant testing procedures are as follows:
Ⅰ. Students staying in collective quarantine stations: students must undertake testing one day before the expiration of the quarantine period, and the collective quarantine station will assist the responsible hospitals to send personnel to the collective quarantine station for testing. The students whose test results are negative and the quarantine period has expired can be allowed to leave the collective quarantine station.
Ⅱ. Students staying in quarantine hotels:
1. The school must coordinate with the medical institutions designated for testing in advance, and arrange for the students to take testing in the designated hospital the day after the students’ home quarantine period expires. After confirming the designated hospital and time of testing, the school must actively provide name lists to the health bureau where the quarantine hotels are located to facilitate the subsequent notification of testing results. When the students go for testing, the school must arrange school quarantine vehicles or quarantine taxis for delivery and ask the students and accompanying personnel (including the drivers) to implement relevant protective measures, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing throughout the whole procedure.
2. After the students undertake testing in the designated hospital, they must immediately take the school quarantine vehicles or quarantine taxis arranged by the schools to return to the quarantine hotels to wait for testing results from the school. The students are allowed to leave and attend school when test results are negative.
3. The turnaround time of COVID-19 RT-PCR test results of medical institutions takes about one to two days, so schools must assist students to book rooms in quarantine hotels for 16 days in advance, and the students can wait for the testing results at the quarantine hotels.
Ⅲ. Undertaking testing is a necessary procedure for the students mentioned above after the quarantine period expires. If students have a fever, an abnormal sense of smell and taste, diarrhea and respiratory symptoms during the quarantine period and have already undertaken testing, then the testing must be undertaken again the day after the home quarantine period expires.
Note: Currently, non-degree students (including TEEP) cannot be approved for entry yet based on the policy of the pandemic prevention and quarantine capacity by the government, therefore, the relevant regulations mentioned above may not be applicable to TEEP program.
Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels