CORONAVIRUS/U.K. includes Taiwan among its safe travel corridors
London/Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Taiwan has been included by the United Kingdom in its safe travel corridors from which travelers to England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival beginning July 10, according to a notice posted on the U.K.'s government portal.
Including Taiwan on the list of 59 countries or regions makes the U.K. the first major country to allow Taiwanese travelers to enter without a need to conduct self-isolation.
This comes as the European country gradually relaxes its travel restrictions, which have been in place since March.
Aside from Taiwan, other Asian countries or regions on the list includes: Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea and Vietnam.
However, for now, the travel corridor exemption is only good for England. Travelers arriving to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still subjected to the U.K.'s 14-day self-isolation rule and face penalties if they do not comply.
In addition, travelers who have been to or have stopped in a country that is not on the travel corridors exemption list still need to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.
Meanwhile, the British Office Taipei, the de facto British embassy in Taiwan due to the absence of formal diplomatic relations, also announced late Friday that the U.K. will lift its ban on non-essential travel to Taiwan for British nationals.
The decision was taken after considering Taiwan's successful handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the office.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Saturday welcomed the British government's decision to include Taiwan into its travel corridor exemption list and thanked it for recognizing Taiwan's accomplishments in the battle against the coronavirus.
"Such open border measures are expected to spur economic growth and help increase trade and investment between Taiwan and the U.K.," the MOFA said in a statement.
Taiwan's airline industry players, meanwhile, are planning to increase flights between London and Taipei, the MOFA said.
According to a report from the Vietnam News Agency, Taiwan is also one of the destinations with which Vietnam is considering resuming international flight operations beginning the end of July.
The MOFA, however, clarified that Hanoi has not issued concrete details regarding the reported plan and Taiwan's representative office in Vietnam is closely coordinating with the Vietnamese side on the matter.
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