Apr 5th, 2020, 05:31 AM

Being Quarantined in Taiwan

By Rosie Liu
Taipei 101 (cr. Rosie Liu)
Taipei 101 (cr. Rosie Liu)
What is it like to be quarantined in one of the safest counties - Taiwan?

When it comes to the new coronavirus, I am one of those “lucky” people. No, I do not have ten boxes of toilet paper in my apartment. Instead, by lucky, I simply mean that I had a plane ticket when I needed it. With my own experience and by keeping up with news from various resources, I was able to see that the French government closing all schools was inevitably coming. It was only a matter of time, and therefore I had bought my ticket back home way ahead of time. But is flying home really the best decision? I know many people were having a hard time deciding whether to leave France or not. However, to me it was not even a decision I had to make, going home was almost the only path for me. Why? Because I am from the country that did explicitly well during this pandemic – Taiwan (or ROC, whichever you prefer).


By the time I boarded onto the plane back home, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control has already listed France as a level 3 warning, meaning that I will have to be self-quarantined for 14 days after I have arrived home. Before I left the airport, I first had to go through a health-check station. The government asked for my phone number and the address I would be staying at during my quarantine period so that they can check on me whenever it was necessary. Knowing the entry process might take some time, I started to speed-walk right after I left the plane. Luckily, I had already filled out the electronic entry form, so it didn’t take me very long to get through the health-check station.

The line of going through the Health Check station in the airport (cr. Rosie Liu)

The Taiwanese government is dead-serious about quarantine. It is our own responsibility to take our temperature twice a day and record them on a piece of paper. Our district clerk will give us a call once or twice a day. If I miss too many calls or leave my house without permission – even just for 5 minutes – I might receive a fine up to 1,000,000 NTD (33,120 USD).


Many friends of mine were slightly worried for me because staying at home for two weeks sounded really stressful for most of the people. Yet, the introvert side of me looked forward to the opportunity for some solo time. The fact that I was being paid to stay in my room was a dream come true for me. Yup, you heard me. As long as I didn't violate any rules during quarantine, I will receive 14000 NTD (460 USD) in cash by the end along with a care package from the local office. For example, I received 14 masks for free, plus a huge box of instant noodles from the local office. Some other people received a bag of snacks with some books in it.

A Picture of me with the box of instant noodle and masks I got. (cr. Rosie Liu)

My days of self-quarantine have gone by pretty quickly. Being quarantined barely caused any trouble for me since I can pretty much use UberEats whenever I want lunch. Additionally, I had my parents to help me out. People have been asking me what the first thing I will do after it ends and to many people’s surprise, leaving the house and running around is not the first thing on my to-do list. The first thing I would like to do after being free is to leave my room, go next door, and give my mother a warm hug.