TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan officially opened its borders to workers from the Philippines and Vietnam on Tuesday (Feb. 15).
Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) previously announced that starting Feb. 15, the point-based system for entry would be discontinued and a second phase of entry regulations would begin. Employers are now able to bring in factory workers and caregivers from the Philippines and Vietnam.
Employers are required to enter information about the workers on an MOL website prior to their arrival in Taiwan, including their nationality, date of arrival, flight number, quarantine hotel, vaccination certificate, COVID insurance, PCR test results, and the identity of the person picking them up at the airport. According to the ministry, workers can enter Taiwan between three and 30 days after registration.
The MOL pointed out that employers who hire migrant workers must adhere to five major epidemic prevention measures:
1. Before leaving their home country, migrant workers must be fully vaccinated and upload their vaccine certificates to the MOL website for arriving and departing foreign labor. They must also ensure there is only one quarantining employee per room before they leave for Taiwan.
2. Employers must arrange for their workers to quarantine in epidemic prevention hotels in Taiwan and notify the city or county government of the hotel's location in advance. After migrant workers complete 14 days of quarantine, they spend their seven days of self-health monitoring in the same hotel before going to their workplace.
MOL Workforce Development Agency Director-General Tsai Meng-liang (蔡孟良) stressed that migrant workers must stay inside their hotel until the end of their self-health monitoring period. If they must venture out, they must provide a reason and be escorted to ensure they follow epidemic prevention measures.
3. After migrant workers enter Taiwan, they will be picked up by airport service personnel from the MOL and assisted with clearing customs. After taking a PCR test at the airport, they will be given a free COVID rapid antigen test kit for use during quarantine. They will then be guided by a staff member to an epidemic prevention vehicle that will transport them to their quarantine hotel.
4. While in the hotels, the workers must undergo PCR tests on the 13th or 14th day of their quarantine. Testing agencies should send personnel to the hotel to administer the PCR test.
5. During the self-health monitoring phase at the quarantine hotel, workers must take a rapid antigen test on the 20th or 21st day. Employers must confirm the results and them to the MOL's Entry And Departure Of The Foreign Labor Airport Care Service website.
According to the MOL, the accommodation expenses for the quarantine and self-health management should be paid by the employer. In addition, the MOL will provide subsidies to employers of workers in the social welfare category to cover 50% of the cost of the quarantine and self-health management, with a maximum daily subsidy of NT$1,250 (US$44).
The cost of administering the PCR tests at the end of quarantines will be covered by the government. However, other expenses, such as field services and transportation of personnel sent to quarantine hotels by testing agencies, will be borne by the employer.