Taiwan prepares its border reopening plan

Among its Asian neighbours, Taiwan remains the laggard when it come to unlocking its borders.

By David Flynn, March 28 2022
Taiwan prepares its border reopening plan

Across the two years of the pandemic Taiwan’s borders have remained locked up tighter than the skin of a ceremonial Chinese drum, but celebratory lion dances could soon be welcoming tourists back to the island-nation’s shores.

Earlier this month, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung flagged the possibility of releasing a plan on reopening Taiwan’s borders in April as part of a “coexistence” with the virus.

While the country has experienced a surge in domestic tourism and spending as holidaymakers shun overseas travel, leading to the highest level of employment in two decades, it’s also becoming hard to ignore that most of its Asian neighbours have removed quarantine measures while reducing or eliminating testing.

Taiwan currently requires most visitors to undergo 10 days of quarantine on arrival, although invited business travellers from selected countries are exempt from quarantine. 

In the short term, Chen says “there will still be quarantine, but the number of days may change” and be further trimmed to seven – still an unappealing prospect for almost all travellers.

And there are signs Taiwan won’t follow the lead of other countries in completely throwing open its borders without quarantine for vaccinated travellers before the end of year.

Speaking at a press conference on March 23, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said of such as move “it is impossible this year. This will be a difficult thing to predict.”

Taiwan’s China Airlines, EVA Air and newcomers Starlux are all understandably eager to resume international flying, although it now looks less likely that Qantas will make good on the prospect of starting direct flights to Taipei.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 195

Why any country still thinks it a good idea to close borders and then to keep them closed is bizarre! Even after a couple of months it made little sense.

Humans get ill, some die and 99.9% just get on with their lives. 

Governments who want to control what people do and what they think are just wrong.

China Airlines - Dynasty Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 79

For a few reasons the borders are still closed.

Firstly they have in the main part been quite successful in preventing outbreaks. You see there seems to always be a covid zero policy for as

long as they feel they can do it (Western Australia is a prime example) . Until like for Australia experienced where an outbreak just cannot be stopped. 

2nd the economy is not overly reliant on international travel for their incomes. And the economy is doing amazingly well considering the massive demand for its chip making at TSMC.  Even the main 2 airlines are making profits with massive amounts of Cargo being exported out of Taiwan. 

Their economy has been growing at a steady/healthy 3-5% annum since 2020. 

3rd from a political stand point. The general population is very scared of the virus (majority but not all Taiwanese).  So the government would lose a lot of support if they were seen to allow the virus into the country. 

Older people have not been fully vaccinated as much as the younger people, and that is because of the success of the preventing major outbreaks in the past.

So the solution right now is where the government has to be up front with the population to tell them that Covid will arrive soon and the state can't protect them from getting the virus eventually. This needs to be communicated all around the country. The elderly to some extent are maybe more worried about the side affects of the vaccines due to the mixed messages coming out from around the world and China about vaccine side affects. 

Being a long time member of China AIrlines Dynasty program. I have been unable to fly CI since Feb 4th 2020. 

So I am really keen to see it all open up, at least for transiting passengers (It would be a start towards normality) by June/July with full reopening sooner the better.  

Anyway living in China means I also need to hope that the PRC reopens too, which I feel is even further away than Taiwan's reopening unless they truly cannot control the recent outbreak.

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