After months of strict border control to combat the spread of coronavirus, Taiwan is finally reopening their borders to foreign nationals. Despite the tensions with the World Health Organization (WHO), Taiwan rose to success against the coronavirus pandemic due to their foresight and immediate action, proven by their low infection and death rates, and thus allowing them to finally allow foreign nationals in transit to enter their borders.
According to Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), this move comes after recognizing the need to reignite the commercial and trade industries, as well as the recent global trends on the pandemic with other countries similarly partially reopening their borders.
But of course, while Taiwan remained relatively safe within its territory, the rest of the world isn’t faring as well. So only select foreign nationals will be allowed into Taiwan.
Who can enter Taiwan
All foreign nationals who want to enter Taiwan must submit their application for clearance to travel, along with all supporting documents, to be reviewed by a special panel put together by Taiwan’s Ministry of Health.
The CECC first announced that they will be welcoming foreign nationals seeking medical attention under all areas of healthcare other than cosmetic surgery and physical health checks. These foreign nationals seeking medical attention are also allowed to bring one or two close relatives with them, depending on the panel’s decision.
Other foreign nationals who can apply to travel to Taiwan are those fulfilling internship and training programs; those admitted in a foreign exchange program; those attending international conferences or exhibitions; those volunteering or fulfilling missionary activities; those coming for youth exchange programs; and those applying for jobs.
It’s quite an extensive list, but the so-called “general visitors” — largely composed of tourists and social visitors — are still not allowed entry.
But if you’re simply a transit passenger, you may be allowed through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, should you meet the following conditions: your connecting flights are operated by the same airline and you will only be stopping over for a maximum of eight hours. Transit travel through Taiwan was banned last March 24 and only recently lifted.
Reminders for those allowed entry into Taiwan
Any foreign national approved for entry into Taiwan is required to present a proof certifying that they tested negative for COVID-19. The test must be done within three days of their flight to Taiwan.
Before checking into their flight, foreign nationals entering Taiwan must fill up the Quarantine System for Entry form that can be found on the website of the health ministry.
Upon arrival, they must undergo quarantine in compliance with the regulations of the health ministry. This takes about two weeks or more, after which another test for COVID-19 must be passed before they can go out.
There are some exceptions to these procedures, namely foreigners on diplomatic or official business (handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), migrant workers (handled by the Ministry of Labor), and students (handled by the Ministry of Education).
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