On November 26, 2021, Taiwan announced that it would add six African countries – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe – to its list of “key high-risk countries,” effective November 29, 2021. Effective December 1, Taiwan also added Malawi, Mozambique, Egypt, and Nigeria to the list of key high-risk countries. Individuals who have traveled in any of these ten countries within the past fourteen days must quarantine at government group quarantine facilities for fourteen days and complete an additional seven-day self-health management period. The announcements are part of Taiwan’s effort to slow the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Quarantine Requirements for Arriving Travelers

The addition of ten African countries to the list of key high-risk countries follows Taiwan’s extension of pandemic-related entry restrictions through February 2022. Arriving travelers who have not visited “key high-risk countries” in the past 14 days will be required to take a deep-throat saliva test and a PCR test upon arrival at an airport or a port in Taiwan and to take a quarantine vehicle to a quarantine hotel or a group quarantine facility where they plan to complete quarantine at their own expense. Beginning December 14, such travelers shall also undergo a PCR test on the 9th or 10th day of quarantine, arranged by the local government. If the test result is negative, on the 11th day these individuals may take a quarantine taxi to return home or go to a residence of family or friends to undergo the last four days of quarantine (days 11-14).

Thus, beginning December 14 and extending through February 14, if the test results are negative, these travelers can return home to complete the quarantine period. Arriving travelers will also be required to take a PCR test one day prior to the end of their quarantine.

Most Foreign Nationals Still Barred from Entry

The entry of most foreign nationals continues to be suspended under guidance from Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). In general, only foreign nationals with an Alien Resident Card (ARC) are permitted to enter. However, spouses and children of ARC holders may now apply for a special permit entry visa. Exceptions are being considered on a case-by-case basis for emergencies and on humanitarian grounds, and CECC approval for entry is required.

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