Taiwan

Taiwan to lift quarantine on arrivals in mid-October | Aviation

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The East Asian economy is one of the few places where tourist quarantine is still required.

Taiwan announced it would lift its quarantine on arrivals by mid-October, as East Asian economies moved to lift some of the latest pandemic-related border restrictions that remain in place around the world.

Taiwan’s cabinet said on Thursday it aimed to lift the requirement for entrants to quarantine in a hotel or home for three days, followed by four days of self-monitoring, starting around Oct. 13.

All countries that were eligible for visa-free entry before the pandemic will also resume visa-free entry from next Thursday, cabinet spokesman Luo Pingcheng told local media. The government will also increase the weekly limit on international tourists to 60,000 and cancel PCR COVID tests for incoming passengers, Luo said.

Taiwan last week resumed visa-free entry for tourists from several countries, including the United States and Canada.

Under the relaxed rules, visitors who test positive for COVID-19 will still be required to quarantine in hotels or at home.

The self-governing island is the only large economy other than mainland China and Hong Kong that still requires travelers to quarantine after Asian counterparts such as South Korea and Malaysia dropped quarantine rules earlier this year.

Despite saving lives early in the pandemic, border restrictions have hit businesses hard, especially those that depend on tourism.

After adhering to a “zero COVID” strategy for more than two years, Taiwan has recorded more than 6 million cases since the highly contagious Omicron variant and its subvariants began circulating locally in January.

However, more than 99.5 percent of infections are mild or asymptomatic, according to Taiwan’s health authorities.

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