Taiwan bans entry for most Hong Kong and Macau travelers from Feb. 10. Exceptions possible. Ban on mainland China passengers in place.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 11 Feb 2020 04:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions, increased health screenings
  • Location(s): Taiwan (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Increased immigration and customs screening times, quarantine measures, flight disruptions

Summary
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) will prevent the entry of most Hong Kong and Macau residents to Taiwan as of Feb. 11 to combat the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Authorities will make exceptions for travelers on business, employees transferring to Taiwan, and travelers with resident permits in Taiwan and their dependents. The CECC will require those allowed to enter the island under these circumstances to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Taiwan banned other nationals who had traveled to mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong over the previous 14 days from entering the island Feb. 7. Inbound travel by mainland Chinese nationals is also barred. Taiwan passport holders with recent travel history to mainland China will also need to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Officials may introduce additional entry restrictions in the coming days. The duration of the precautionary measures will likely depend on the regional intensity and extent of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

Authorities continue to conduct enhanced health screenings at major transport hubs and immigration facilities. Passengers bound for Taiwan who do not accurately report their travel history could face fines of up to NTD 150,000 (USD 5,000). Health staff are using thermal scanners at points of entry to monitor some inbound passengers and conducting health checks for passengers that display symptoms of the virus from all destinations. Officials have warned that travelers who exhibit pneumonia-like symptoms could face immediate quarantine. Enhanced screening measures are likely to cause immigration delays, especially at airports in Taipei (TPE, TSA) and Kaohsiung (KHH).

The Ministry of Transport and Communications restricted flights to mainland China Feb. 7; under the new measures, airlines are only allowed to fly to airports in Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (SHA, PVG), Xiamen (XMN), and Chengdu (CTU) through April 29. The restriction prompted Taiwan-based carriers China Airlines (CA) and EVA Air (BR) to cancel approximately 70 percent of flights to mainland China through February. Decreased demand could trigger further flight cancellations on available routes in the coming weeks. Authorities have also banned international cruise ships from docking at ports on the island as of Feb. 6.

Advice
Confirm entry requirements before embarking on travel to Taiwan. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, as they may prompt increased scrutiny, delays, and quarantine.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Taiwan Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov.tw