Taiwan will not see a return of tourists from China, Hong Kong, and Macau starting from October 13, when borders will open to international travel. That was the word from the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, Minister Chiu Tai-san, on Thursday.
Next week, border control in Taiwan will largely return to pre-pandemic normal. However, travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau will still need a reason, such as business or visiting relatives, to enter Taiwan.
Chiu says Taiwanese authorities will adjust entry rules on a rolling basis, according to the COVID-19 pandemic situation on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. He also says one of the factors limiting tourist travel from China, Hong Kong, and Macau is China’s restrictive COVID-19 policies. Another is the fact that presently there are only a handful of regular flights between the two countries.
China currently requires all inbound travelers to undergo seven days of quarantine followed by three days of restrictions. China also only allows its citizens to travel to Taiwan in organized groups, but not independently.
Chiu said there were preliminary plans earlier this year to allow travel from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to Taiwan’s outlying islands for Tomb Sweeping Day. That traditional festival is usually celebrated in April on both sides of the strait. However, the plans were scrapped when COVID case numbers began rising, so as to avoid overwhelming limited medical facilities on the outlying islands.
Chiu says any future adjustments to travel regulations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will have to be discussed by both parties. However, China is currently unable to make any decision due to the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
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