TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Thursday (Dec. 30) announced that Taiwan is opening its borders to migrant workers from Thailand and that negotiations are underway with the Philippines and Vietnam to allow workers from those countries to enter Taiwan.
Entry for all migrant workers was suspended on May 19 after a surge in local COVID cases. On Nov. 11, Taiwan lifted the ban on Indonesian workers under a new points-based scheme that will be applied to other nationalities once approval has been given for their entry.
After over a month of only allowing Indonesian workers entry into the country, the labor ministry's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) issued a press release on Thursday confirming that Thailand's relevant epidemic prevention measures are in place. It added the borders would be opened to workers from Thailand that day.
In addition, the labor ministry emphasized that it is continuing to negotiate with the Philippines and Vietnam on enabling workers to enter Taiwan. It will make announcements once agreements have been reached.
According to the ministry, all migrant workers entering the country during this first phase of the program (Nov. 11, 2021 to Feb. 14, 2022), must undergo quarantine in designated facilities. With the current priority given to returning Taiwan citizens during the Lunar New Year, there are currently only 350 beds available in quarantine centers for migrant workers from Jan. 1-14.
The labor ministry added that after entering the country, migrant workers must cooperate in undergoing 14 days of quarantine, followed by seven days of self-health monitoring in a quarantine center. If an employer fails to cover the cost of their stay, as they are obliged to do, migrant workers can apply for local government compensation.
The WDA reminded employers that they must provide COVID health insurance for their incoming migrant workers. If employers do not provide this proof of COVID insurance coverage in advance, their foreign employees will not be allowed to enter Taiwan.