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Taiwan COVID-19 entry restrictions as of 1 March 2021

by Niki Chen and Christine Chen

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced new entry restrictions for people entering the country. These new rules came into force on 1 March 2021. Entry restrictions were first introduced on 19 March 2020 with a mandatory 14-day quarantine for Taiwan nationals and foreign residents wishing to enter the country. To date, Taiwan has reported just around 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which the vast majority were imported from abroad, and ten deaths in total.

On 1 March 2021, the CECC eased entry restrictions into Taiwan, reintroducing reduced quarantine periods for short-term business travelers from low- and medium-risk countries/regions and reintroduced entry for medical care. However, social visits and tourism are still banned. Qualifying reasons for entry have expanded for all types of travelers (foreign nationals, Hong Kong/Macao residents and Mainland Chinese residents), as long as those entering the country receive approval from the respective government department before travel.

For example, patients seeking medical care should receive approval from the Ministry of Health and Welfare while international students should receive approval from the Ministry of Education. Those entering based on humanitarian grounds, emergencies or other special reasons should receive approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Short-term business travelers, which include employees of international companies who have been transferred to Taiwan to fulfill business contracts, are again eligible to apply for shortened quarantine periods. To qualify for the shortened quarantine period, the business traveler must meet the following conditions:

  1. The business traveler is eligible to enter the country in accordance with CECC announcements;
  2. The business traveler is applying for a duration of stay in Taiwan of less than three months;
  3. The purpose of the visit is business activity and relevant documents outlining the purpose have been provided by legally established businesses in Taiwan;
  4. The business traveler is traveling to Taiwan from low- and medium-risk countries as listed by the CECC and has not traveled to other countries or regions in the 14 days prior to boarding their flight to Taiwan.

Those who meet the above conditions must also provide a travel itinerary for their stay and a disease prevention plan. A certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result issued within three days of boarding their flight is still required. Once in Taiwan, the business traveler may apply for a COVID-19 test taken at their own expense to end their quarantine period. Those from low-risk countries/regions may apply for this test on the fifth day of arrival, and those from medium-risk countries on the seventh day of arrival. If results are negative, the business traveler may then apply to the local health authority to end their quarantine early; however, they should still observe enhanced self-health management until the 14th day after entry. During this observation period, business travelers should avoid going to crowded places or use public transportation and can only conduct limited business activities. The host company must also keep a daily log of the business traveler’s activities in Taiwan, including the names of the people that they meet, which should not include anyone not mentioned in their travel itinerary. Designated personnel must also pick up the business traveler and always accompany them throughout their stay, and the business traveler should always wear a face mask when going outside. Additionally, for the first two weeks of their visit, the business traveler is required to stay at a government-mandated quarantine hotel.

As of 24 March 2021, the following countries and regions are considered low- and medium-risk countries/regions:

Low-Risk Countries/Regions

New Zealand, Macao, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Laos, Nauru, The Marshall Islands, Bhutan, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam

Medium-Risk Countries/Regions

Cambodia, Hong Kong, Mauritius

Travelers planning on entering Taiwan should check the latest announcements from the CECC’s official website before arranging travel.

For questions about immigration matters in Taiwan please contact Christine Chen at cchen@winklerpartners.com.

 

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