Taiwan to bar entry to foreigners from Jan. 1, 2021 after report of first UK Covid-19 strain

A few exceptions will be made.

Kayla Wong | December 30, 2020, 06:20 PM

Non-resident foreigners, with a few exceptions, will be barred from entering Taiwan from Jan. 1, 2021, onwards, Taiwan's Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung announced on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Exceptions to the rule

Foreign spouses and children of Taiwanese citizens, as well as those who hold special entry permits and resident visas, such as diplomats and those approved for entry under humanitarian considerations, are not included in the latest measure, Central News Agency reported.

The same rules apply to those from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau too.

The self-ruled island added that it will not allow any transit flight to take place through its airports starting from Jan. 1 as well.

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center will first monitor the situation for a month before making any necessary adjustment to the measure.

Taiwan reported first Covid-19 case with U.K. virus strain

Taiwan's announcement followed the report of a new Covid-19 case with the mutated B117 strain that has been spreading in the United Kingdom.

The patient, who arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 27 from the U.K., is now in a stable condition at the hospital, Chen said.

The strain was said to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the Covid-19 virus that first appeared at the end of 2019, according to the BBC.

Taiwan ended its 253-day Covid-19-free streak with its first locally-transmitted Covid-19 case on Dec. 22.

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