Tourists flock to Taiwan as COVID entry restrictions eased

Visitors are no longer required to self-quarantine on entry or take PCR tests

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TAIPEI — Taiwan on Thursday lifted all of its COVID-19 entry restrictions, allowing tourists unhindered access to the self-governing island after more than 2½ years of border controls.

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Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as mainland China, have required most visitors to complete a mandatory quarantine period throughout the pandemic, even as most countries have reopened their borders to tourists.

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Visitors are no longer required to self-quarantine upon entry or take PCR tests. Instead, they will be required to monitor their health for a week after arrival and test negative on a rapid antigen test on the day of arrival. If people want to go out during the week-long surveillance period, they need a negative test from that day or the day before.

There are also no longer restrictions on the entry of certain nationalities into Taiwan.

Dozens of Thai visitors were among the first to arrive under the new rules at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport, which serves the capital Taipei, on a Tiger Air flight which landed shortly after midnight.

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Tourists like Mac Chientachakul, 32, and his parents were excited to visit the island.

“Hot pot is my favorite dish in Taiwan,” Chientachakul said. « It’s my first thing to do…I miss it so much. »

Sonia Chang, a travel agency, said the changes were good for both the tourism industry and Taiwanese residents, who can now travel abroad without having to quarantine upon their return.


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Valaisurang Bhaedhayajibh, 53-year-old business development manager of a design firm, called the new rules a best practice.

« We don’t have to do the test before we come here, and also after we come, » he said. “We are still required to do the self-test every two days, and everything has been provided” by the Taiwanese authorities, including the rapid test kits.

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At a welcome ceremony in the arrival hall of Taoyuan Airport, travelers from Thailand were greeted by Taiwan Tourism Board Director Chang Shi-chung, who handed them gifts.

The Taiwan Tourism Board estimated that a total of 244 tourists from about 20 tour groups will arrive on Thursday.

As Hong Kong and Taiwan shed restrictions and welcome tourists back, mainland China remains one of the few places in the world to resolutely keep borders closed and stick to a “zero-COVID” strategy to eradicate the virus. Hong Kong ended its mandatory quarantine policy for incoming travelers late last month, requiring only a three-day self-monitoring period.

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