COVID-19 alert: Taiwan bars entry of foreigners
MANILA, Philippines — Taiwan is barring the entry of foreign nationals in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In an advisory, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said foreign nationals will not be allowed entry to the country starting Thursday in accordance with measures announced by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The ministry said exemptions will be granted to Alien Resident Certificate holders, personnel on diplomatic or official business, persons who can prove they are fulfilling commercial and contractual obligations, and persons requiring special permission.
“In accordance with CECC regulations, the exempted foreign nationals listed in the previous paragraph must observe a 14-day home quarantine upon arrival,” the ministry noted.
“Relevant government agencies shall be responsible for any necessary arrangements regarding their lodging, movements, and work venues in Taiwan,” it added.
Only the exempted foreign nationals listed above will be allowed entry into Taiwan, the ministry stressed.
It added that foreign nationals whose flights departed before 00:00 Taipei Standard Time (GMT+8) on Thursday (Mar. 19) will still be allowed entry, including those who transfer or transit through a third country.
“Foreign nationals who are eligible for visa-free entry or hold a visitor or resident visa and wish to enter Taiwan from March 19 must hold relevant documents to qualify for exempted status,” the ministry said.
“These documents must be presented to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) personnel at the port of entry for approval. Those holding special entry permits issued by R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas missions (embassies or representative offices), valid Alien Resident Certificates, or MOFA ID Cards will be allowed entry following inspection by NIA personnel,” it added.
The ministry advised foreign nationals who are unable to determine whether their documents meet the criteria for exempted status may visit Taiwan’s overseas missions prior to departure to apply for a special entry permit.
Aside from the aforementioned criteria for exempted status listed above, Taiwan’s overseas missions “may also grant special entry permits when there are clear and urgent reasons for a foreign national to visit Taiwan based on, for example, humanitarian grounds or approval by competent authorities in Taiwan.”
Those requiring special permission to visit Taiwan may also present relevant documents to NIA personnel at the port of entry, who will then make a decision whether to approve entry, the ministry noted.
“Cases in which there is any confusion over the interpretation of the aforementioned entry regulations shall be dealt with through coordination by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NIA,” it added.
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