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All travelers to Taiwan must take predeparture Covid test starting Dec. 1

Taiwanese citizens, foreign residents no longer exempt from mandatory proof of negative coronavirus test

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Nurse Tanya Markos administers coronavirus test on patient Ricardo Sojuel at mobile COVID-19 testing unit, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Lawrence, Mass.

Nurse Tanya Markos administers coronavirus test on patient Ricardo Sojuel at mobile COVID-19 testing unit, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As part of its strict new measures to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus during autumn and winter, the CECC on Wednesday (Nov. 18) announced that all persons wishing to fly or transit through Taiwan must provide proof of a negative Wuhan coronavirus test within three days prior to their flight.

During his weekly press conference Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that all inbound and transit passengers must submit a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report within three days prior to boarding their flight to Taiwan. Once the new rules take effect on Dec. 1, Taiwanese citizens and foreign residents will no longer be exempt from this requirement

In order to strengthen epidemic prevention, from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, 2021, all passengers, regardless of nationality or purpose of arrival, who enter or transit through Taiwan’s airports must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test within three working days of their scheduled flight to Taiwan. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications will supervise airlines to ensure the veracity of the test reports.

If a passenger is found to have submitted a false test report or refuses, evades, or obstructs relevant quarantine measures, they will be subject to a fine of between NT$10,000 (US$350) to NT$150,000 for breaching Articles 58 and 69 of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). Those caught creating a false test report will also be held criminally responsible for the offense of forging instruments or seals (偽造文書印文罪).

Chen stated that a certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result must be issued by a medical institution designated as qualified by the local government of the place of departure. The CECC requires that the document be written in English, Chinese, or both Chinese and English.

The certificate must include the following information: the traveler's name as it appears on their passport, the date of birth or passport number of the traveler, the specimen collection date and test report date, the virus name, the testing method, and the result. Related details and requirements are listed below, as stated on the CDC website:

  1. In situations where the traveler provides a certificate [in a language] other than Chinese or English, of a negative COVID-19 test result, if the certificate is in the official language of the place of departure, and ground personnel of the airline is capable of assisting in the inspection of the content, the certificate may be accepted.
  2. The three-day period of such a certificate means three working days and is counted from the test report date; therefore, national holidays in the country/region where the traveler takes the COVID-19 test may be excluded.
  3. Such a certificate, whether it is the original copy, a photocopy, or an electronic file, can be accepted as long as the content and necessary fields on it are clear, identifiable, and correct.
  4. The testing method of a negative test result should be a nucleic acid test (such as PCR, RT-PCR, NAA, NAT or others); Immunoserologic testing, which detects the presence of any antigens (Ag) or antibodies (IgG or IgM) in blood, does not meet the requirements set forth in this program.