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Taiwan is opening up further in response to pre-pandemic border measures resuming elsewhere in the world. Photo: EPA-EPE

Coronavirus: Taiwan to resume visa-free entry for some countries in latest reopening move

  • Visitors from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Taipei allies will not need a visa from next Monday
  • Need for three days of quarantine and on-arrival PCR test still stands under ‘new Taiwan model’
Taiwan will resume visa-free entry for visitors from countries including the United States and Canada from next week, as it continues to ease controls put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The island had kept its entry and quarantine rules in place as large parts of the rest of Asia relaxed or lifted them completely, though in June it cut the number of days spent in isolation for arrivals to three, from seven previously.

Taiwan has reported more than 5.3 million domestic coronavirus cases since the beginning of the year, driven by the more infectious Omicron variant. But with more than 99 per cent of patients showing no or mild symptoms, the government has relaxed rather than tightened restrictions in what it calls the “new Taiwan model”.
Drive-through Covid-19 tests under way at Liberty Square in Taipei in May. Photo: Reuters

The resumption of visa-free entry for visitors from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and diplomatic allies would start from next Monday, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said.

The decision was made based on the fact that most places around the world had already resumed pre-pandemic border measures and also the need to balance epidemic prevention with economic and social activities and international exchanges.
Command centre chief Victor Wang said the three days of quarantine and need for a PCR test upon arrival would remain for the time being, as would the current cap of 50,000 arrivals a week.

Both Shanghai and Taiwan Covid strategies ‘a nightmare’ for citizens

Taiwan, which has a well-vaccinated population, has already ended the requirement for pre-departure negative PCR tests.

Throughout the pandemic, it imposed no exit or entry restrictions on locals or foreign residents, though they had to quarantine either at home or in hotels.

Taiwan is a popular tourist destination for mainly Asian visitors, with Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia the most important markets.