Taiwan will cut mandatory quarantine for all arrivals to seven days from 10, in the latest relaxation of rules as the island tries to live with Covid-19 and resume normal life despite a spike in domestic infections. Taiwanese authorities have kept quarantine rules in place even as large parts of the rest of Asia have relaxed or lifted them completely, though isolation time had already been reduced from two weeks to 10 days in March. The island has reported some 125,000 domestic cases since the beginning of the year, driven by the more infectious Omicron variant. But with more than 99 per cent of patients showing no or mild symptoms, the government has relaxed rather than tightened restrictions in what it calls the “new Taiwan model”. Taiwan says it will not follow mainland China’s ‘cruel’ Covid lockdowns The easing of the quarantine rule, which comes into effect next Monday, was made due to Omicron’s short incubation period and to take into account “the maintenance of domestic pandemic prevention capacity, socio-economic activities and effective risk control”, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said. All arrivals will still have to take PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for Covid-19 upon reaching Taiwan, and will be released on the seventh day of quarantine as long as they are negative from a rapid test. The requirement for pre-departure negative PCR tests remains in place. Quarantine for close contacts of infected patients is now three days, as the government seeks to lessen the burden on officials keeping tabs on those in isolation while the number of domestic infections keeps going up. Authorities have not given a timetable for completely reopening borders, and restrictions remain in place for who can visit. Citizens and foreign residents are free to come and go but most other visitors need special permission.