AP

Tourists flock to Taiwan as COVID entry restrictions eased

Oct 12, 2022, 3:07 PM | Updated: Oct 13, 2022, 6:09 am

First group of foreign travelers hold souvenirs after arriving at Taoyuan International Airport in ...

First group of foreign travelers hold souvenirs after arriving at Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan, Northern Taiwan, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Taiwan announced that it will end mandatory COVID-19 quarantines for people arriving from overseas beginning Oct. 13. The Central Epidemic Command Center announced that the previous weeklong requirement will be replaced with a seven-day self-monitoring period. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan lifted all its COVID-19 entry restrictions on Thursday, allowing tourists unfettered access to the self-ruled island after over 2 1/2 years of border controls.

Hong Kong and Taiwan, together with mainland China, required most visitors to complete a mandatory quarantine period throughout the pandemic, even as most countries reopened their borders to tourists.

Visitors are no longer required to quarantine upon entry, or take any PCR tests. Instead, they will need to monitor their health for a week after arriving, and obtain a negative result on a rapid antigen test the day they arrive. If people want to go out during the weeklong monitoring period, they need a negative test from either that day or the day before.

There are also no longer any restrictions on certain nationalities being allowed to enter Taiwan.

Dozens of visitors from Thailand were among the first to arrive under the new rules at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport, which serves the capital Taipei, on a Tiger Air flight that landed shortly after midnight.

Tourists like 32-year-old Mac Chientachakul and his parents were excited to visit the island.

“Hot pot is my favorite dish in Taiwan,” Chientachakul said. “It’s my first thing to do … I miss it so much.”

Sonia Chang, a travel agent, said the changes are good for both the the tourism industry and Taiwanese residents, who can now travel abroad without having to quarantine when they get home.

Valaisurang Bhaedhayajibh, a 53-year-old business development director of a design firm, called the new rules convenient.

“We don’t have to do the test before coming here, and also after arriving,” he said. “We are still required to do the self-test every two days, and everything has been provided” by Taiwanese authorities, including the rapid testing kits.

At a welcome ceremony in the Taoyuan airport’s arrival hall, the travelers from Thailand were met by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s director, Chang Shi-chung, who handed out gifts.

Taiwan’s tourism bureau estimated that a total of 244 tourists from some 20 tour groups will arrive Thursday.

With both Hong Kong and Taiwan getting rid of restrictions and welcoming back tourists, mainland China remains one of the few places in the world adamant in keeping borders closed and sticking to a “zero-COVID” strategy to stamp out the virus. Hong Kong ended its mandatory quarantine policy for inbound travelers late last month, requiring just a three-day self-monitoring period.

___

Associated Press writer Zen Soo contributed from Singapore.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

1 day ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

6 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

7 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

9 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

13 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Tourists flock to Taiwan as COVID entry restrictions eased