Singapore to unilaterally open borders to Taiwan from Dec 18, no quarantine needed

Nan Shan Plaza (L) and Taiwan's landmark building Taipei 101 are pictured through the window of an airplane, in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug 19, 2018.
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - Visitors from Taiwan will be able to come into Singapore for all forms of travel and not be quarantined from next Friday (Dec 18), provided they test negative for Covid-19 on arrival.

The same applies to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning from Taiwan, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Friday (Dec 11), as it announced the Republic's decision to unilaterally open its borders to Taiwan.

"Taiwan has a comprehensive public health surveillance system and has displayed successful control over the spread of the Covid-19 virus," said the CAAS.

"Over the past 28 days, Taiwan has zero local Covid-19 cases. The risk of importation from Taiwan is low."

Visitors from Taiwan can apply for an air travel pass for entry into Singapore from Dec 18. They will have to adhere to a few requirements such as flying to Singapore on direct flights, using the TraceTogether app, and paying for their medical bills related to Covid-19, if any.

The CAAS will also update Singapore's travel advisory to allow for travel to Taiwan.

The opening is unilateral, as restrictions in Taiwan remain in place, with leisure and social visits by foreign nationals currently banned.

Taiwanese citizens who want to travel out of the territory can do so. But they will have to get a certificate proving them to be clear of the Covid-19 virus within three days prior to their return flight to Taiwan. 

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They will then be tested again upon arrival in Taiwan, and will have to be quarantined for 14 day afterwards. 

Taiwan is the sixth place that Singapore has unilaterally opened up to, after Australia, Brunei Darussalam, mainland China, New Zealand and Vietnam.

The CAAS said that as at 11.59pm on Thursday, it had approved 9,284 applications for visitors from these places, and received 4,050 visitors.

As at 11.59pm on Wednesday, all visitors who arrived in Singapore under the air travel pass scheme have tested negative for Covid-19.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post that the opening of borders to Taiwan was another step in opening Singapore’s borders.

Today, we take another step in opening our borders, this time to travellers from #Taiwan. They have been maintaining...

Posted by Ong Ye Kung on Thursday, December 10, 2020

He noted that Taiwan had also recently classified Singapore as a low risk country. As such, the territory had reduced the quarantine for essential and business travellers from the Republic to five days.

Mr Ong added: “With the festive period, I hope the reopening arrangements will be useful for families and loved ones to reunite.”

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.