Last week we reported how Taiwan had outlined a plan to reopen its borders quarantine-free to tourists from Singapore and other visa-free countries, by “around” 13th October 2022, and today the government has confirmed that this date has now been locked in.
The announcement was made by cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng, who said that the date could now be made official thanks to a well-vaccinated population, with the pandemic situation in the country “under control”.
Taiwan will shift from its current “3 + 4” quarantine scheme to a “0 + 7” programme, under which travellers will no longer need to quarantine and instead will only be subject seven days of self-health monitoring, including taking up to four self-administered COVID-19 rapid antigen (ART) tests.
Crucially there is no airport testing on-arrival, you’re simply asked to take regular ART swabs yourself without any reporting obligation, for up to a week.
Quarantine-free arrivals from 13th October
The new “0 + 7” scheme will go into place on 13th October 2022, with the following process replacing the existing “3 + 4” programme.
Travel to Taiwan
from 13th October 2022
|Eligibility & Vaccination|
|COVID-19 Tests (travellers aged 2+)|
|Restrictions (first 7 days)|
Travellers arriving in Taiwan will no longer be required to make a health declaration on the Quarantine System for Entry before arrival, have a mobile phone with a Taiwanese number.
Eligible travellers (visa waiver)
Taiwan has now reinstated its pre-pandemic list of 65 nationalities eligible for visa-free entry, including those with passports issued in Singapore and Japan.
Visa-free tourist stays are possible from 14 to 90 days, depending on your nationality, with Singapore citizens eligible to make trips of up to 30 days as tourists.
The full list of eligible nationalities for visa-free entry into Taiwan, which continues to apply after 13th October 2022 when quarantine-free entry kicks in, is outlined below (click to expand).
Stays of up to 90 days permitted (except where stated) for those holding the following nationalities.
Travellers from countries not granted visa exemption in Taiwan will also be allowed to apply for visas to enter the country for regular social visits and tourism purposes.
The ban on tour groups will also be lifted.
Up to four self-ART tests required
All travellers aged two or above arriving in Taiwan will be provided with four ART kits free of charge on arrival at the airport, to be self-administered as follows:
- ART Test 1: On the day of arrival (Day 0) or the following day (Day 1).
- ART Tests 2-4: Before leaving your accommodation, you must have a negative ART test result obtained within the last 48 hours. For example, if you tested on Day 0, you would need to test again on Day 2, Day 4 and Day 6, assuming you wish to go out every day.
After first arriving in Taiwan, you should not leave your accommodation before returning a negative ART test result, so for most of our readers taking a leisure trip it will be preferable to conduct the first ART test on Day 0 (arrival day).
There is no requirement to take a test at the airport itself, as has been incorrectly reported elsewhere.
All tests are entirely self-administered without supervision and negative test results do not need to be reported (honour system).
You should immediately use a test kit if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, even if they arise on a “non-testing” day (i.e. you still have a negative test result in the last 48 hours).
Travellers aged under two are not required to take any tests.
You do not need to remain in Taiwan for seven days if you do not wish to, for example if you take a three-night trip you will only complete two tests (e.g. if you arrive on Monday and depart on Thursday, you’ll test on Monday and Wednesday only).
What if you test positive?
If any of your ART tests return a positive result while in Taiwan, you will be transferred to a quarantine hotel room (general hotels are not included), or can remain or at home for self-care and recovery, provided you have no symptoms, or a mild infection.
For severe cases, you will need to be transferred to a hospital.
These arrangements are all at your own expense, so while Taiwan does not mandate travel insurance it’s always a good idea to have a comprehensive policy to cover the cost of such eventualities.
Vaccination is not required
Like many countries in the region, including Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, Taiwan does not require arriving travellers from overseas to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter quarantine-free.
There are no additional quarantine or testing requirements for passengers who are not fully vaccinated.
Singapore – Taiwan flights (October 2022)
Taiwan was linked to Singapore Changi Airport by 86 direct weekly flights prior to the pandemic, from the major cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung.
In October 2022 it’s a far cry from those kind of flight volumes, with only 29 direct weekly flights on offer, which means pent-up demand initially looks set to be funnelled on less than half the number of services previously available.
October 2022 flights are shown in the following table.
Singapore – Taipei flights
|Airline / Flight Number||Aircraft||Days
|TR996/997||A320ceo||Wed, Fri, Sun
|TR898/899||A320neo||Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat
|SQ877/879||787-10||Wed, Fri, Sun
One of the prime new cabin experiences on this route is currently offered by luxury boutique airline Starlux, which recently upgraded its Changi flights to the new Airbus A330-900neo.
Pick a Tuesday to Sunday departure with this carrier between now and the end of October, and you can snag the airline’s latest flat-bed Business Class with direct aisle access, or a more roomy seat in Economy in a 2-4-2 configuration, perfect for couples.
Singapore Airlines already plans to restore daily (7/wk) flights to and from Taipei from the start of the northern winter season in November 2022.
In time, we also expect the carrier to reopen its dedicated SilverKris Lounge in Taipei, which has been shuttered since the start of the pandemic.
In other good news, mask-wearing is already optional on Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights to and from Taiwan, though all other carriers on the Taipei route still enforce a mask mandate.
Here are the award redemption rates using KrisFlyer miles to redeem on EVA Air flights (Star Award) or Singapore Airlines flights on this route.
|KrisFlyer Saver Redemption Rates
SIN to/from TPE
* Premium Economy is not currently offered on SIA’s Singapore – Taipei route, but it has been in the past and could therefore make a comeback.
When you redeem KrisFlyer miles for SIA flights on the Singapore – Taipei route, taxes and fees of S$52.30 are payable.
If you lock in an EVA Air award, you’ll pay S$182.30 on top of your miles outlay, due to the carrier’s hefty fuel surcharge.
Taiwan has confirmed that it will reopen its borders quarantine-free on 13th October 2022, a move that follows a relaxation of restrictions in Hong Kong since this week and an exciting reopening in Japan on 11th October 2022.
Arrival in Taiwan is set to be relatively straightforward, with no vaccination or pre-departure test requirements.
You’re simply handed four ART kits for you to self-test on arrival day (or the following day), then you’re asked to do the same before leaving your accommodation for up to a week, if it has been more than 48 hours since your last negative result.
Crucially, there is no testing at the airport itself when you land, and none of the tests are supervised – it’s left down to you.
Taiwan also plans to progressively drop mask-wearing requirements in outdoor and public spaces in the coming weeks, as its latest COVID-19 wave has now peaked, which will further simplify leisure trips to the popular destination.
Will you be planning a Taiwan trip under these new quarantine-free arrangements from 13th October? Let us know in the comments section below.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)