Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, the Taiwan government has imposed significant restrictions on all passengers arriving from abroad. These restrictions have been extraordinarily successful in slowing the spread of Covid in Taiwan. Unfortunately, they also have made travel to Taiwan difficult or impossible for business visitors for the past 2 1/2 years.
In recent months, new strains of the Covid virus have evolved, strains which are far more contagious but less deadly than the original virus, and vaccinations have become widely available. As a result, the virus has spread throughout Taiwan society but with less severity than earlier, and restrictions on arriving passengers have become much less effective in protecting Taiwan residents. In response, the Taiwan government has slowly relaxed restrictions on business visitors this year.
Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center has announced that effective September 29 citizens of all countries enjoying visa-free treatment may enter Taiwan for business or tourism purposes visa-free, without the special entry permit described below. In addition, travelers will no longer be required to take a saliva-based PCR test upon arrival, reducing delays in airport arrival terminals. The CECC also announced further relaxations tentatively planned for October 13.
As of September 29, the following visitor entry rules will apply:
Special entry permit: Before traveling to Taiwan, a foreign visitor -- including a business visitor -- must first obtain a special entry permit from a Taiwan government office abroad unless the visitor is a citizen of a country enjoying visa-free entry into Taiwan. Different offices apply slightly different rules for special entry permits, but in general an applicant must submit an invitation letter and an itinerary. Additional required documents may include the applicant's original work permit approval and vaccination record, depending on the office's policy.
Taiwan SIM card: Upon arrival in Taiwan, a traveler must purchase a Taiwan SIM card if he does not already have one installed in his cell phone.
Quarantine: Upon arrival, a traveler also must spend three days alone in a government-approved quarantine hotel or a room equipped with a separate bathroom in a private residence. During this period the traveler must remain isolated 24 hours per day. He is not permitted to leave the hotel or residence for any reason. Family members arriving in Taiwan together may quarantine together.
Self-disease prevention: Following completion of his stay in quarantine, a traveler must complete an additional 4-day self-disease prevention period. During this period, he may eat or drink in a restaurant alone or with colleagues or friends, but he must maintain social distance or eat behind a plastic barrier. Also, he must avoid crowds and mixing in groups of people, and should not visit a hospital except in an emergency. After completion of this period, a foreign visitor (like everyone else) must wear a mask when he leaves his hotel room or residence.
Additional detailed rules and exceptions apply in certain circumstances. For example, a foreign visitor must comply with additional restrictions if he tests positive for Covid, flight crew may qualify for an exemption from quarantine, and other rules apply to visitors from the PRC, including Hong Kong and Macao, and to transit passengers.
The CECC has also announced further relaxations tentatively scheduled to take effect October 13 unless infection rates increase. Notably, the three-day quarantine requirement may be abolished, and all tourists may be allowed to visit Taiwan.
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