Taiwan to allow entry of 6 groups of foreign nationals
Taipei, July 19 (CNA) Six categories of foreign nationals, including interns and volunteers, will be allowed to enter Taiwan, starting next week, but the mandatory three-day quarantine for all arriving travelers will remain in place, government officials said Tuesday.
With effect from July 25, foreign volunteers, missionaries and interns, as well as people visiting Taiwan for language or religious seminars, international exchanges, and working holidays, will be allowed entry, said Chou Chung-hsiung (周中興), deputy director-general of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA).
Foreign nationals in those six categories who wish to visit Taiwan, however, must first apply at a Taiwan representative office abroad for a special entry permit, Chou said.
Taiwan's partial reopening to foreign visitors will not extend to people from China, Hong Kong, or Macau, he said.
In May 2021, Taiwan closed its borders to all non-resident foreign nationals, with a few exceptions, amid a spike in domestic COVID-19 cases, but in the past few months, it has been easing its entry restrictions for some categories of travelers, including businesspeople and students admitted to Taiwan schools.
Foreign arrivals in the six listed categories that will now be admitted totaled 10,000 in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Chou.
With effect from July 25, foreign nationals entering Taiwan under the "international exchange" category will include those participating in events such as religious processions, road races, and hot air balloon festivals, which have an element of international or cultural exchange, BOCA said.
Meanwhile, the government will move gradually in the direction of opening the borders to other visitors, raising the cap of weekly arrivals, and ending the quarantine requirement, according to Victor Wang (王必勝), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
He declined to give a timeline for those decisions, however, saying only that the deciding factors will be the domestic and international COVID-19 situation and Taiwan's medical resources.
Specifically, the quarantine rule for all arrivals will remain in place throughout August, mandating three days of quarantine followed by four days of self-initiated epidemic prevention, according to Wang.