CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to soon reopen border for international students: MOE

08/21/2021 12:38 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Update: Taiwan begins process for entry of new international students (Aug. 24)

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Education (MOE) on Friday said the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has approved its plan to allow international students enrolled in Taiwanese schools to re-enter the country, as those without resident permits are currently barred from doing so.

Taiwan tightened its border restrictions on May 19 after the country saw a spike in domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases. Since then, only Taiwanese nationals and foreign nationals with resident permits have been allowed in, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis for emergencies and on humanitarian grounds.

The Friday announcement came after the MOE said in early August that it was drafting a plan to allow students without residency permits to come to Taiwan as the new school semester is about to start in September.

According to the MOE, students who are enrolled to study in Taiwan for over a year typically apply for residency, though new students are unable to file an application until they come to Taiwan.

The MOE said the entry plan will start by giving priority to students enrolled in degree programs and recipients of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Taiwan Scholarship and the MOE's Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, which is a government-funded program for Chinese language learners.

Some 13,000 international students belonging to this group are expected to come to Taiwan this fall semester, as stated by Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) on Aug. 11.

After this, Pan said his ministry will then gradually consider allowing foreign exchange students and those wishing to study Chinese on a short-term basis to come to Taiwan.

Also Friday, the MOE said that beginning next week, schools will inform students on how they can enter the country and what types of disease prevention measures they will be required to take.

Based on the CECC guidelines, international students who are granted entry must present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding a plane, and receive both a deep-throat saliva test as well as a PCR test upon their arrival in Taiwan.

During their 14-day quarantine in the country, they must take a rapid COVID-19 self-test within 10-12 days, and again a PCR test before the end of their mandatory quarantine.

After this, students will then need to practice self-health management for another seven days before they can be allowed into their school.

(By Chen Chih-chung and Ko Lin)

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