taiwan reopening borders to tourism

Taiwan reopening plans for mid-June may be delayed due to new covid outbreak

Taiwan continues to be open for essential travel only. All visitors need to submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test result and quarantine for 14 days at a government-approved hotel. Residents are allowed to quarantine at home only if they can prove they live by themselves.

Tourism remains banned but reopening for vaccinated travelers is on the table.

According to a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is willing to gradually adjust regulations regarding foreign nationals’ entry into Taiwan “in accordance with decisions and standards set by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).”

If reaching a regional consensus, travelers would not need to quarantine.

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Taiwan reopening for tourism - Travel restrictions

May – Taiwan reopening plans for mid-June may be delayed following its first coronavirus outbreak

After fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a year and a half now, this may sound like a 2020-piece of news for most people around the world. But sadly, it is not. 

Only 10 days ago, the country had recorded 2,260 COVID cases and only 14 deaths in total. Today the country is reporting 9,389 positive cases and 149 deaths. 

This very first outbreak of coronavirus infections is linked to a semiconductor plant of King Yuan Electronics, the world’s biggest provider of chip-testing services. The company has confirmed that 13 employees tested positive for COVID-49 as well as 40 of their family members.

Local media reports that the government had managed to contain the virus with rather strict lockdowns and curfews but it had not invested in large-scale tracking and testing. 

“You should have a two-pronged approach. You do the quarantine, but you should do massive widespread testing,” said K. Arnold Chan, an expert on drug and medical products regulation at National Taiwan University. “For whatever reason the government is completely unprepared.”

So for now, international tourism will remain barred until June 14. But it is expected the country will extend this restriction. 

(Source: CTV News)

May 18 – Taiwan to strengthen international travel restrictions through June 18

The Taiwanese government has strengthened international travel restrictions on all international visitors due to an increase COVID-19 cases.  

Effective tomorrow, May 19, foreign nationals without valid Alien Resident Certificates will be barred from entering Taiwan. The government has also said that non-citizens should avoid making international transit flights through airports in Taiwan because they will also be forbidden from entering the country during the same period. 

To make the situation a bit more stressful, the government has also ordered the closure of most non-essential businesses such as bars, clubs, saunas, and internet cafes.

May 4 – Taiwan to ban travelers from India starting today

Taiwan became the latest place to ban arrivals from India following the worrisome situation that country is having with the new B1617 COVID-19 variant, which seems to be behind the extraordinary increase in coronavirus cases.

So far, 17 countries have banned passengers coming from India including the U.K. Switzerland and Iran among them. 

Consequently, starting today, Taiwan has imposed a new entry ban on travelers with history of travel to India, “except for R.O.C. nationals and non-R.O.C. nationals with ARC; returning R.O.C. nationals and non-R.O.C. nationals with ARC must be quarantined at group quarantine facilities and undergo testing” reads the government’s statement.

April 8 Taiwan opens its first travel bubble

Unlike other multiple countries that have promised to open their borders or, at least, travel bubbles for its citizens to visit other places and don’t actually do it, Taiwan has done exactly as it said.

On April 1, Taiwan used for the very first time the “travel bubble”, the country and government of Palau had agreed a few weeks ago. This is a great milestone for a country that has been extremely reluctant to reopen for tourism. The first flight carried 100 tourists including the Palau’s president and his wife.

“We are opening this travel bubble in hopes of boosting tourism and economic activities for both (sides) while preventing the spread of Covid-19.” Said the Taiwanese Health Minister Chen Shih-chung.

February 4

Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung has stated that the government is currently working on a plan to reopen borders through a new system. In order to be granted access, visitors will need to agree to the following requirements:

  • Bring confirmation that they had received a two-shot coronavirus vaccine
  • Bring proof of a negative Covid-19 test 
  • Other conditions (not released just yet)

Current restrictions and entry requirements to enter Taiwan

Taiwan reopening for tourism - Travel restrictions
  • All allowed visitors

Taiwan requires travelers to present a certificate, in English, of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three working days before arrival. They also need to observe a 14-day quarantine at a government-approved facility or home if they live alone.

During this self-isolation time, local health officials will call them to check in on them and record their information on a Health Status Record form.

  • International students 

Pan Wen-chung, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, has informed that these students can either quarantine at the government-approved centers or at government-accepted hotels. 

If a student chooses the former option, the school will have to pay (US$50) per day to the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) three days in advance of check-in. There is also a third option that relies on quarantine centers or dormitories provided by private schools, also approved by local health officers.  

Which countries are allowed to enter Taiwan?

Keep in mind that given the emphasis on imported cases, Taiwan has been keeping an eye on the COVID-19 situation around the globe and it’s only opening its borders for a reduced number of passports and for a limited number of reasons.

List of allowed countries/regions

List of low-risk countries/regions: (Current at June 2)

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
  • New Zealand
  • Nauro
  • Palau
  • The Marshall Islands

List of medium-risk countries/regions:

  • Bhutan
  • Singapore
  • Israel 
Taiwan reopening for tourism - Travel restrictions

COVID-19 situation in Taiwan

As of June 2, Taiwan is still keeping the numbers of COVID-19 cases very low. The territory has reported 9,389 positive COVID cases and only 149 deaths.

What is Taiwan’s current political situation?

Taiwan is a relatively small island inhabited by almost 24 million people. In practical terms, it has operated as an independent territory from China since the end of the Civil War in 1950. 

However, the Chinese government has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949. Due to this situation, China requests other nations not to have direct diplomatic relationships with the island.

Taiwan had already had enough to worry about regarding its context of political uncertainty and growing social unrest when the hardest pandemic recorded in a century happened to break right at its door in the city of Wuhan, China. 

It is of no surprise that Taiwan’s economy and flourishing tourism industry took a hit, as most of the world did,  being forced to close its borders and strictly police commercial activity.

Taiwan

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