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Taiwan approves new guidelines for tour groups amid calls for reopening

Group travel ban still in place as country monitors outbreak caused by BA.5

Taiwan Taoyuan Internatioal Airport. (Facebook photo)

Taiwan Taoyuan Internatioal Airport. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The COVID-19 task force has passed new guidelines for inbound and outbound tour groups as Taiwan gradually opens up, reports said.

A Tourism Bureau official confirmed on Wednesday (Sept. 14) that the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has approved a proposed guide to managing tour groups by travel agencies, per CNA.

The official added, however, that the ban on group travel in place for more than two years will not be lifted until allowed by the CECC. The country’s tour guides are currently undergoing training before Taiwan opens its borders, said the report.

According to the guidelines, visitors must have their COVID vaccine boosters administered before they travel to Taiwan. Insurance is advised for both inbound and outbound tourists and masks are mandated throughout their journey. Travel agencies are required to provide masks and rubbing alcohol and inform customers about the latest pandemic control measures at their destinations.

Taiwan has faced pressure to further relax its borders, as it recently restored visa-free entry for 55 countries. The CECC has suggested moves to scrap arrival screenings and the cap on the number of arrivals, but a resurgence of the virus due to the Omicron subvariant BA.5 is delaying the decision to open up.