CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to allow return of international students from Laos, Cambodia

07/01/2020 10:13 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Taiwan on Wednesday announced a further easing of its border restrictions to allow students from Laos and Cambodia who are due to graduate this year to return to the nation, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Laos and Cambodia were the latest two countries to be added to a list of 11 that were deemed to be at low risk for the COVID-19 disease, therefore, graduating students from those places are being permitted to return to Taiwan, the MOE said, citing the Central Epidemic Command Center.

In addition to Laos and Cambodia, the other countries and regions are Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Palau, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Fiji, Mongolia and Bhutan.

The education ministry also said that, pending the CECC's approval, it will open school dormitories during the summer break to accommodate returning international students for the 14-day mandatory quarantine period, as hotel costs could be prohibitively high for them.

Since Taiwan closed it borders in March to foreign nationals, more than 26,000 international students have been unable to return to complete their studies.

Starting June 17, however, graduating students from the first 11 countries were being admitted, while the easing of restrictions for those from Laos and Cambodia was expected to start Wednesday.

According to MOE statistics, there were 63,000 foreign students enrolled in Taiwan universities and colleges as of the end of 2019.

(By Chen Chih-chung and Evelyn Kao)

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