Expatriate Taiwanese rush home to avoid new border control regime involving COVID-19 testing  (2020/11/29)
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  • 英文 English 
    Expatriate Taiwanese rush home to avoid new border control regime involving COVID-19 testing  (2020/11/29)

    Starting Dec. 1, under a new fall and winter program to prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone flying into Taiwan from abroad must provide a negative PCR COVID test result from one that was taken within three days before their departure. The numbers of returnees have doubled as Taiwanese expats try to avoid the laborious measure. In the early hours of Sunday morning, a nearly full plane from Los Angeles touched down in Taoyuan Airport. While some of the passengers complained, others said they support the government's new policies.

    With masks tightly wrapped around their faces and towing baggage of various sizes, returning Taiwanese weren’t taking any chances. Some even had on professional-looking protective clothing. Faced with the prospect of catching an invisible virus, they could not afford to be careless.

    The queue of people streaming into customs appeared to stretch endlessly down the hallway. They were all passengers who have rushed to return to Taiwan from abroad. The Central Epidemic Command Center declared on Nov. 25 that it would implement a new program for winter and fall to prevent the spread of COVID-19 starting on Dec. 1. The program requires that everyone who enters Taiwan’s borders, including Taiwanese nationals, produce a negative result of a PCR COVID test taken within the last three days before their flight in order to enter the nation’s borders. Quite a few overseas Taiwanese rushed to get back to Taiwan early.

    I was supposed to leave for Taiwan on Dec. 4. I returned early because in Los Angeles tests take one to three days, and there’s no certainty that you can get your result within 72 hours. If you don’t get hold of the result, well then you can’t get on the plane.

    I heard about this rule in the U.S., and so many people are rushing back earlier than planned. I think this a good thing for our nation of Taiwan, so I support it.

    National Immigration Agency statistics reveal that before the new program was announced, 741 people entered Taiwan’s borders from the U.S. on Nov. 20. After the program was announced, the numbers doubled to 1,390 on Nov. 27.
    中文 Chinese  
    趕12/1秋冬防疫專案前回國 返台旅客翻倍






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