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Taiwan is open for some tourism and extends visa-free entry for 4 countries from August 1

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Taiwan is open for some tourism and extends visa-free entry for 4 countries from August 1

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

July 22 – Taiwan to extend visa-free entry to Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, and Russia from August 1

Taiwanese authorities have created confusion among travelers from Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, and Russia with the announcement that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) was extending its visa-free treatment to these countries while the travel ban remains in place. 

According to the press release, Taiwan will continue with its “Project for Simplifying Visa Regulations for High-end Group Tourists from Southeast Asian countries” from August 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022. 

Unfortunately, it does not mean that the city-state is opening for tourism. The Ministry has also said that this does “not indicate an opening-up of Taiwan to foreign tourists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Source: Taiwan Government

July 7 – Taiwan could ease COVID-19 restrictions on July 9, says government

Taiwan is currently emerging from its first COVID-19 wave after being the role model of the world for how it had managed the pandemic until a few weeks ago.

Last Monday, Taiwan’s Cabinet announced that it would be possible to ease restrictions as coronavirus cases seem to decrease across the territory. 

“Over the past two days, the CECC has been drafting guidelines (to ease the restrictions), and it is planning to move in this direction,” said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung at a press briefing.

With less than 8 percent of its population fully vaccinated, Taiwan is currently under a Level 3 COVID-19 alert. 

Source: FocusTaiwan

June 19 – Taiwan to ban foreign tech workers from leaving home from June 18 due to first COVID-19 outbreak

Taiwan was one of the few countries unscathed by the pandemic until last month, when everything changed all of a sudden. 

In early May several clusters of infections started to pop-up mostly in the northern part of the island. The biggest one has been tied to the world’s biggest semiconductor company.

Last week, the government banned foreign workers from leaving home in an attempt to contain the ongoing COVID-19 activity.

Additionally, level-3 restrictions were extended through at least June 28. This means that gatherings have been limited to 5 people and wearing a face mask at all times is mandatory. (Source: NYTimes)

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 July 22)

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

List of medium-risk countries/regions:

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

COVID-19 situation in Taiwan

COVID-19 cases in Taiwan
Source

As of July 22, Taiwan is still keeping the numbers of COVID-19 cases very low. The territory has reported 15,511 positive COVID cases and only 782 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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