TAIPEI • Taiwan will, from the start of next week, ease border controls put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and allow in business travellers from some lower-risk countries, though they will have to be tested and quarantined.
Taiwan has never gone into total lockdown and life has continued largely as normal owing to its early and effective prevention work and a first-rate public health system.
While it has largely lifted domestic restrictions, Taiwan has been more cautious about opening up its borders, which have been shut to most foreign visitors since mid-March.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said that starting from next Monday, it would allow in business people coming from lower-risk areas including New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam and Thailand, plus those from South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau, which it judged medium to low risk.
Travellers will have to provide details of where they are going in Taiwan, be able to provide proof of testing negative for the virus three days before flying, and prove they have been invited by a company, the centre said yesterday.
They will still be subject to 14 days of quarantine, as are all those coming into Taiwan, but will be able to shorten that if they pay for a coronavirus test and get a negative result.
“To foster the opening of foreign business activities in a timely manner, we are announcing the relaxation of some border control measures,” Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters.
International flights have continued to operate to and from Taiwan throughout the border restrictions, though on a much reduced scale. Previously, the only foreigners allowed in were those with residence permits, diplomats and a few other exceptions.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said that starting from next Monday, it would allow in business people from lower-risk areas, including New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.
Taiwan has reported 445 cases of coronavirus, the majority of which were in people who got infected overseas, and just seven deaths. It has only four active cases remaining.