Taiwan to restore visa-free entry for US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and allies
The Central Epidemic Command Center on Monday announced that it will restore visa-free treatment for visitors from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and diplomatic allies effective 12 September.
During a press conference that afternoon, CECC head Victor Wang announced that the decision had been made after a comprehensive assessment and in light of the fact that most countries in the world have opened their borders and resumed border control measures that had been in place before the pandemic and in order to balance the needs of epidemic prevention work, promoting economic and social activities and international exchanges.
Starting on 21 September, visa-free entry to Taiwan for visitors from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and countries that have diplomatic relations will be resumed, but quarantine regulations and on-arrival testing will stay in place. In addition, the quota on arrivals will be limited to 50,000 inbound passengers per week.
In a press release issued that day, the CECC stated that the border control measures and epidemic prevention measures will be adjusted in an ongoing manner depending on changes with the pandemic. The CECC urged travelers to Taiwan to comply with quarantine and epidemic prevention measures during the three days of quarantine and four days of self-health monitoring to jointly maintain the safety of the local community.
Bureau of Consular Affairs Director-General Phoebe Yeh said that visa-free visitors from the countries and regions mentioned can engage in business, exhibitions, inspections, international exchanges, sightseeing, family visits, and social visits without the need to apply for a permit. However, if they wish to engage in other activities, it is necessary to obtain prior permission from a central governmental agency that oversees such activities.
If visitors wish to stay in Taiwan for a length of time longer than the standard visa-free period or engage in activities such as proselytizing or delivering Dharma sermons that require a qualification review, they must apply for a special entry permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in advance.
According to the CECC, the European countries afforded visa-free treatment include the 26 countries of the Schengen Area, as well as the U.K. and Ireland.
Wang said that a second list of visa-free countries will be announced in the future, depending on the situation of the pandemic. He said that group tours from abroad are still banned for the time being.
On 19 March 2020, Taiwan barred entry to all foreign visitors and this ban has remained in place to the present. September 12 will mark the partial end of a strict travel ban that had lasted for two and half years.
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