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Premier: Inspect all luggage from ASF areas, shorten processing time

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday said conducting customs inspections on 100 percent of luggage arriving from African swine fever (ASF) epidemic areas is critical for keeping the disease out of Taiwan.

Speaking at the Cabinet's weekly meeting, the premier said government agencies should set up additional machinery and checkpoints and concentrate inspections at designated locations. At the same time, agencies should be mindful to minimize processing and wait times for passengers while ensuring that foreign travelers understand the rules for entry into Taiwan.

To avoid inconvenience for passengers, the government has procured additional X-ray machines and assigned more personnel to the effort, Premier Su said. Special processing services and extra inspection points have also been set up for those arriving from high-risk areas.

While this policy inevitably add several minutes to the processing time, it will help prevent the virus from entering Taiwan, the premier said. He asked all visiting tourists and local residents to support the effort. Not all travelers will be subject to the policy as flights from ASF areas account for 20 percent of all arrivals, and therefore only 20 percent of incoming passengers will have to undergo the inspections.

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