TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign students overseas who started their studies in Taiwan but have not yet reached their final year will be allowed to apply for re-entry, except those from China, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced Wednesday (Aug. 5), in a change from a plan reported earlier.
Deputy Education Minister Liu Meng-chi (劉孟奇) first told media that China was included, but an aide took him aside before he announced that the new measure would not apply to students from the communist country after all, CNA reported.
Taiwan has gradually relaxed its restrictions on the entry of foreign students amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On June 17, it allowed final year students from 19 countries and areas considered low-risk or low-to-moderate-risk to return to Taiwan; in the second phase, final year students from all other countries, including China, were given the green light to apply from July 22.
Wednesday’s third phase of reopening applied to students not yet in their final year but did not include new international students. The latest relaxation would benefit an estimated 5,000 students, with the same amount of Chinese students not yet able to return.
The number of students actually entering Taiwan is expected to be relatively low because of the limited amount of international flights and quarantine facilities available upon arrival.
Students looking to start their studies in Taiwan after the summer will still have to wait until a future phase is announced, the ministry said.