Full Details: Taiwan Plans Tourism Reopening from October

Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong

Last updated 27 September, 2022

At long last, Taiwan announced plans to end its mandatory quarantine and fully reopen to tourists on 13 October 2022. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip. 

Singaporeans planning year-end travel received not one but three surprises last week, as long-time COVID holdouts Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan all announced plans to scrap mandatory quarantine and reopen in the coming weeks.

These were among the most popular destinations for Singapore tourists prior to COVID, and in this post, we’ll take a closer look at the plan for Taiwan, which welcomed more than 460,000 visitors from Singapore in 2019.

Taiwan’s current entry rules

Taiwan currently adopts what’s called a “3+4 scheme”, where international arrivals are required to undergo three days of mandatory quarantine plus four days of self-health monitoring.

There is no pre-departure test requirement, but all international arrivals must take a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport on arrival. After this, they must head directly to their quarantine venue by private transport. A further self-administered ART must be done on the final day of mandatory quarantine

Visa-free access has only been partially restored to nationals from selected countries, and Singaporeans are still not eligible.

Taiwan’s revised entry rules

Taiwan has now announced plans to shift to a “0+7 scheme”, which removes the mandatory quarantine for international arrivals and replaces it with seven days of self-health monitoring.

This will take place in two stages.

From 29 September 2022

From 29 September 2022, Taiwan will commence the first stage of relaxing border measures:

  • The weekly arrival cap will increase from 50,000 to 60,000
  • ART testing will replace on-arrival PCR tests
  • Travellers aged two or older will receive four ART kits for use on the day of arrival and the following three days
  • Visa-free access will be restored for all previously eligible countries, including Singapore

From 13 October 2022

From 13 October 2022 (a targeted date that is subject to change), Taiwan will commence the second stage of relaxing border measures:

  • The weekly arrival cap will increase from 60,000 to 150,000
  • Mandatory quarantine on arrival will end
  • Travellers aged two or older will receive four ART kits for use on the day of arrival and during the seven-day self-health monitoring period
  • Arriving travellers can take public transportation once again
  • The ban on tour groups will be lifted
  • Travellers from non-visa waiver-eligible countries can apply for visas once again

In that sense, 13 October 2022 is the real “D-Day” for reopening, since as much as some people love Taiwan, I can’t imagine they’d want to do a three-day quarantine! 

A seven-day self-health monitoring period will still be in effect, but none of the requirements will impact your enjoyment of a holiday. The main requirement is to take a self-administered ART once every two days before you leave your accommodation, a task which should take all of 15 minutes.

Unlike Hong Kong, which plans to restrict the places that international arrivals can visit for the first three days, visitors to Taiwan can visit restaurants and tourist attractions as they please. 

To summarise, here’s what the travel process to Taiwan will look like from 13 October 2022 if you’re a Singapore passport holder.

  • No pre-departure testing required
  • No visa application required
  • Take self-administered ART on arrival at Taiwan Airport (test kits will be provided)
  • Take self-administered ART every two days from Day 1-7 (the day of arrival is considered Day 0)

Taiwan does not require arriving travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and unvaccinated travellers are treated the same as vaccinated travellers.

There is also no mandatory travel insurance requirement, but needless to say, purchasing travel insurance is a very good idea. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel!

Will I need to wear a mask?

Masks are not required on Singapore Airlines flights to or from Taiwan, although EVA Air and China Airlines continue to enforce the rule. 

It is currently mandatory to wear a mask at all indoor and outdoor locations in Taiwan, except in the following situations:

  • When exercising outdoors or indoors;
  • When taking individual/group photos indoors or outdoors;
  • When driving a vehicle or riding a scooter or bicycle by oneself or with live-in family members;
  • When live streaming, filming, moderating an event, reporting, delivering remarks, giving a speech, lecturing, or during activities or events involving conversations with others;
  • When outdoor workers work in open spaces;
  • When people are in forests/mountains (including forest recreation areas) and on the beach;
  • When people are in hot/cold springs, dry sauna rooms, spas, steam rooms, saunas, during water activities, or in venues where masks can get wet easily.
  • Masks may be removed when consuming food/beverages outside.
  • Masks may be temporarily removed in venues or during activities (e.g. art performers performing a show, film crews/TV news anchors when filming, and athletes and referees participating in sports competitions) that comply with the CECC’s or competent authority’s epidemic prevention and control rules.

Taiwan plans to further relax its mask rules in the coming months, so these requirements may change by the time you travel. 

What are my flight options?

Before COVID-19, there were more than 80 direct flights each week between Singapore to Taipei and Kaohsiung. 

Capacity has been scaled back significantly, although the following airlines are still offering service (figures in brackets refer to schedule from November onwards):

  • China Airlines (7x weekly)
  • EVA Air (14x weekly)
  • Scoot (18x weekly)
  • Starlux (7x weekly)
  • Singapore Airlines (7x weekly)

If you have KrisFlyer miles, you can redeem award tickets on either Singapore Airlines or EVA Air:

Flights on Singapore Airlines
(redeemed via KrisFlyer)
One-way Saver Advantage
Economy Class 16,500 miles 30,000 miles
Business Class 34,000 miles 50,000 miles
Flights on EVA Air
(redeemed via KrisFlyer)
One-way Saver
Economy Class 16,500 miles
Business Class 46,000 miles

Given the popularity of Taiwan, it’s quite likely that airfares will skyrocket for year-end travel. I’d recommend exploring some of the lesser-known carriers like Starlux (a premium airline startup) and setting fare alerts using a tool like Skyscanner or Google Flights.

You can also consider taking one-stop flights via Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok since connecting flights tend to be cheaper. 

Conclusion

Taiwan is set to reopen its borders for quarantine-free travel from 13 October 2022, ending more than 30 months of isolation. This is welcome news for Singaporeans indeed, although the retention of on-arrival testing means the possibility of mandatory isolation can’t be disregarded. 

A combination of pent-up demand and the year-end rush is likely to lead to eye-watering airfares, though that’s the price you’ll need to pay if you want to be an early adopter. If you can hold off for a little longer, you’re likely to find better deals during the March or June holiday period. 

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Aaron founded The Milelion to teach people how to travel better for less, with credit cards, airline and hotel loyalty programmes. With 500,000 miles flown and counting, he’s keen to debunk the myth that you can’t travel in style without breaking the bank.