Taiwan would lift indoor mask mandate, resuming individual travel with Hong Kong and Macao
As the pandemic continues to wane, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has decided to ease indoor mask regulations from February 20, 2023.
Except from defined places/venues and particular circumstances, the general public may choose whether or not to wear a mask indoors.
Individuals will not be compelled to wear masks at the above-mentioned places/venues when dining, taking pictures, undergoing inspections, or engaging in other activities when wearing a mask would be inappropriate or impractical.
Masks should be worn at all times indoors in the following places/venues:
- Healthcare facilities: healthcare, medical, and senior welfare institutions, long-term care facilities, veterans home, children and youth services, and care institutions for physically or mentally disabled people.
- Public transportation and designated vehicles: trains, ships, aircraft, and other vehicles and stations/terminals.
Wearing a mask is recommended in the following situations:
- When a fever or respiratory symptoms are present;
- When elderly people or people with weak immune systems go out;
- When people are in a crowded place where proper distance with others cannot be maintained or ventilation is poor;
- When people come into close contact with elderly people or those with weak immune systems (especially those who are not fully vaccinated).
According to the plans of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health and Welfare, when the new school semester begins, all schools, preschools, after-school care centres, cram schools, and baby schools will implement stricter mask laws and associated epidemic prevention measures. If the pandemic situation is stable as of March 6, 2023, schools and childcare facilities will no longer be required to demand indoor masks in accordance with the CECC’s general standards.
In addition, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) in Taiwan has announced the resumption of individual travel for Hong Kong and Macao citizens on the same day as the further easing of epidemic preventive measures (20 February 2023).
The Hong Kong and Macao travel restrictions imposed during the epidemic will be abolished. The condition that they go to Taiwan in groups, which went into effect on November 7 of last year, will also be eliminated.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on 20 February 2023, eligible travelers from the two cities may apply for Taiwan’s entry/exit permits for individual travel using the online application system of the National Immigration Agency of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
All inbound travellers will still need to undergo the seven-day self-initiated prevention period during their stay in Taiwan, during which arrivals should:
- Stay at home or a residence of a friend or family member or a hotel room that meets the requirement of ‘one person per room’ (with an en suite bathroom).
- Take an at-home rapid test when they develop symptoms. Infected travellers with mild symptoms can receive home care at a quarantine hotel or at the place where they undergo self-initiated epidemic prevention (general hotel not included). They are not allowed to take public transportation if they need to receive medical services or examinations.
- Wear masks at all times when outside, and maintain social distancing.
- Dine alone or with specific persons in a separate space in a restaurant if they need to eat. They should immediately put on a mask when they leave their seat or finish eating.
- Avoid coming into contact with persons who have a high risk of developing severe COVID-19 (including elderly people 65 and older, children under six, and individuals who are immunocompromised or have a weak immune system).
- Present a negative rapid test result if they need to visit hospitals or long-term care facilities.
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