Many vacation plans have been foiled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and travelers were forced to cancel local and international trips for the time being. It has also left governments discussing and evaluating their previous travel policies as the pandemic and its effects were unprecedented.
Among those that were reassessed is the visa-free entry policy of Taiwan for the Philippines, which was set to expire this July 2020. The Taiwanese government has decided to extend this privilege for nationals from Brunei, Philippines, Russia, and Thailand until July 2021. They say the decision is to further strengthen ties with countries in Australia, New Zealand, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. (Read: Palawan Makes 5th in Top Destinations For Post-Lockdown Travel)
Guidelines for Travel
This is the third time that Taiwan has extended the visa-free privilege for the Philippines. Anyone who will be visiting the country on a visa-free entry is expected to comply with the following conditions:
- The passport’s remaining validity must be at least six months from the date of entry to Taiwan.
- A tourist must not have a criminal record in their country of origin. This will be verified by immigration upon arrival.
- A confirmed return ticket (whether boat or plane) must be presented upon entry.
- A confirmed ticket to another country or destination—if Taiwan is only a layover. A visa to the destination country must also be presented
- A confirmed hotel or accommodation reservation with complete address and contact details must be presented.
It is to be noted that only a 14-day stay will be allowed for the visa-free entry. The count of 14 days will start the day after entry to Taiwan.
COVID-19 in Taiwan
Despite being near China—the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic—Taiwan has been successful in combatting the virus and controlling its spread. They have kept their cases nationwide to only 449 and deaths to only seven, even with their population at around 24 million. To help neighboring countries defeat the virus, Taiwan has also been exporting medical supplies for other countries to utilize.
The visa-free entry, however, doesn’t take precedence over temporary border control measures put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.