Taiwan steps up border curbs to keep out Delta variant

A medical worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to a woman during a vaccination session for elderly people over 75 years old, at a stadium in New Taipei City, Taiwan June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI, June 25 (Reuters) - Taiwan will tighten border controls to keep out the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, authorities said on Friday, requiring arrivals from five countries, including Britain, to be placed in centralised quarantine facilities.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said that starting from Sunday, entrants from Bangladesh, Britain, Indonesia, Israel and Peru would have to spend 14 days in government-run facilities.

People coming from Brazil and India already face such quarantine, while all others must quarantine at home or in hotels for 14 days.

Taiwan's seven Delta infections were all imported cases detected during quarantine.

The island is battling a cluster of domestic infections, almost all of them due to the previously globally dominant Alpha variant, though numbers are steadying and the outbreak has been comparatively small.

Chen announced 76 new domestic infections on Friday, down from 129 a day earlier.

Taiwan's tally of infections stands at 14,465 since the pandemic began, including 610 deaths.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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