Starting 1st April, all flight crews from Taiwan based airlines will be required to wear protective gear during the flight.
As mandated by Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) the protective gear will include masks, goggles, water-resistant protective clothing and water-resistant gloves; a major step up from the existing face mask policy.
According to Taiwan’s Health Minister and Head of CECC, Chen Shih-Chung, this gear is the same as what it is given to medical personnel.
Although the official implementation date is 1st April, flight crews have already been seen wearing this gear on certain flights. Based on SETN report, EVA Air has taken this measure on their long haul flights to Frankfurt, Sydney and Vancouver.
Taiwan has managed to contain their number of COVID-19 cases so far. As of 30th March, Taiwan Centres for Diseases Control has reported 306 confirmed cases; out of which 262 are imported cases. However, authorities have observed that there has been an increase in the number of cases among flight crews and airport staff; some of them have no overseas travel history.
In addition to the protective gear, flight crews and passengers have to use a different lavatory during the flight. All flight crews assigned to long haul passenger flights, that require them to enter into a foreign country, will be subject to 5 days of home quarantine upon returning to Taiwan, as part of their crew rest; home quarantine for cargo flights will be 3 days.
In the meantime, the CECC will also be coming up with new guidelines for passengers; anyone who breaks the rules will be punished. Currently, all passengers are required to wear a mask upon check-in and during the flight. Masks can only be removed during the meal and drinks service.
At present, Taiwan has barred most foreign nationals from entering the country. International transit has been suspended since 24th March. Anyone entering Taiwan from abroad will also be subject to 14 days of home quarantine.