Outbound travel likely to resume in late 2021: Taiwan health minister

'Business travel bubbles' can be discussed: Chen Shih-chung

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport before the coronavirus pandemic 

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport before the coronavirus pandemic  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Outbound travel from Taiwan is unlikely to resume before the end of 2021, as the world is facing a resurgence of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on television Friday (Nov. 7).

The minister reiterated that he would announce plans this month for stricter border controls as well as new measures to prevent an uptick in infections during the winter. Taiwan has seen an increase in imported cases as the situation grows more serious overseas, particularly in the United States and Europe.

While Chen predicted some travel restrictions might be relaxed mid-2021, completely unrestricted overseas travel might have to wait until the end of next year, CNA reported.

Limited travel would first be allowed to destinations where the situation had improved and where vaccination is quite common, while by late next year, vaccinations should be standard in most parts of the world, Chen reportedly said.

In the meantime, “business travel bubbles” could be introduced if the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) deems it necessary for business travelers to arrive from overseas and if the travelers' employers are able to arrange safe itineraries during their stay in Taiwan, according to Chen.

A recent attempt at a "tourism travel bubble" with Palau did not come to fruition because the Pacific island nation reportedly feared the import of virus infections.

Updated : 2021-01-26 14:42 GMT+08:00