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Taiwan loosens COVID rules for cruise passengers

Only passengers with COVID symptoms will have to face tests

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Taiwan relaxes COVID regulations to attract more cruise passengers. 

Taiwan relaxes COVID regulations to attract more cruise passengers.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Travelers who arrive in Taiwan by cruise ship will only have to take quick COVID-19 tests if they show symptoms of an infection, reports said Saturday (March 4).

Taiwan reopened its borders to mass tourism last October, scrapping most quarantine and vaccination requirements for visitors. According to previous rules, cruise passengers had to stay on board during a self-health monitoring period and take quick tests every other day, UDN reported.

The Maritime and Port Bureau announced on Saturday this would no longer be necessary, with only travelers showing COVID symptoms such as fever and coughing being asked to take the tests. Other requirements, such as a negative result from a COVID test taken within two days before entering Taiwan, and restrictions on the movements of crew members and staff, had already been scrapped, officials said.

If a passenger tested positive during the cruise, they could board any vehicle after disembarking, with the cruise company no longer required to book a special vehicle. Crew members had to take one home test before boarding the ship, with management determining how often staff had to take COVID tests during the voyage.

The Maritime and Port Bureau said the new rules were intended to attract more cruises to Taiwan and to help simplify procedures for visitors.