Ban on Chinese citizens entering Taiwan starts today

Taiwan's ban on Chinese nationals entering Taiwan starts today

  7603
Protesters hold placards that read "Close the border, say no to China" at a mall in Hong Kong on Tuesday (Feb. 4). 

Protesters hold placards that read "Close the border, say no to China" at a mall in Hong Kong on Tuesday (Feb. 4).  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the Wuhan virus continues to spread across China and the world, a ban on Chinese nationals entering Taiwan went into effect on Thursday (Feb. 6), while Hong Kong and Macau residents must undergo a 14-day quarantine.

On Wednesday (Feb. 5), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that all Chinese citizens will be denied entry into Taiwan starting on Thursday. At a press conference the same day, Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) announced the policy and advised Taiwanese to avoid all non-essential trips to China.

Chen added that Taiwanese who have traveled to China, Hong Kong, or Macau over the past two weeks will be placed under home isolation for two weeks following their return to Taiwan. Hong Kong and Macau residents are exempt from the policy banning Chinese nationals, but they will be required to submit to a two week home quarantine upon their arrival in Taiwan, unless they first register with the National Immigration Agency (NIA).

Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) said on Tuesday (Feb. 4) that foreign citizens who have stayed in or visited China in the past two weeks will be barred from entering Taiwan, beginning Friday (Feb. 7). As for foreigners that have Alien Resident Certificates (ARC) and have traveled to China within the same timeframe, they will be allowed entry to Taiwan, but must first place themselves under self-quarantine for 14 days at their residence.

Also on Thursday, Taiwan's new face mask rationing system requiring IDs went into effect. The new rationing system requires Taiwan residents to present their National Health Insurance (NHI) cards when purchasing masks at the over 6,000 drugstores and pharmacies that are contracted with the NHI.

Consumers will be limited to only buying two masks per week (seven days). As for foreigners, the Director General of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Administration (健保署) Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) said at a press conference on Tuesday (Feb. 4) that foreigners can use their own identification information such as passports and Alien Resident Certificates (ARC) when picking up masks at NHI-contracted pharmacies.