Coronavirus Update: Taiwan to Test all Foreign Arrivals for COVID-19

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced that all foreign travelers to Taiwan will be required to pass a test for COVID-19 before being allowed to enter the country. While the borders are not yet open to foreign travelers and non-residents, CECC head Chen Shih-chung has said that when the time comes for overseas travel and tourism to resume, all international visitors will be required to test negative for the virus ahead of entry, reports Taiwan News.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung  (陳時中) announces the the 59th consecutive day of no domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases in Taiwan. (Image source: CECC)

The country tentatively has plans to welcome back foreign visitors somewhere between October and December, with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, the CECC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs working closely together to try and get Taiwan’s tourism industry back on its feet. On June 8, the government announced a stimulus package to boost domestic tourism, granting Taiwanese citizens subsidies for travel from July 1. According to Focus Taiwan, these include free entry to amusement parks, discounted bus tickets and money towards hotel stays. Foreign residents are not eligible for these subsidies. 

In case you haven’t noticed already, from June 7, certain social distancing measures across the country were relaxed in places such as restaurants and cinemas. Also, passengers taking TSA and HSR trains are now allowed to remove their masks if they follow the enforced social distancing rules onboard. (Read more: Virus Precautions Taken on Domestic Travel to be Lifted)

Taiwan currently has 6 active confirmed cases of coronavirus on the island, with 430 of the 443 infected having recovered and 7 unfortunately passing away. New Zealand, a nation which reportedly modelled its virus response on that of Taiwan, recently reported zero active cases in the country, which is something Taiwan will hopefully be able to do in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to keep wearing their masks where they’re supposed to, keep washing their hands and not get too ahead of themselves. 

Want to visit Taiwan when this is all over? There’s no harm in starting to plan your trip right now.

(cover photo: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker)