Taiwan loosens COVID control measures on international cruise ships

   March 4, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Taiwan further loosened its COVID control protocols on international cruise ships in an attempt to boost tourism, the Maritime and Port Bureau announced.

Under the new rules, which are effective immediately, the country no longer requires inbound passengers to present a negative rapid COVID test taken on the day of arrival in Taiwan/the previous day, the bureau revealed in a statement.

Instead, passengers only have to conduct the test in case they display symptoms, and undergo quarantine on board if the result is positive, the bureau said.

For outbound cruise tourists undergoing a self-initiated epidemic prevention program, like those who entered Taiwan within 7 days prior to boarding the liner, still need to present a 48-hour COVID-negative rapid test when boarding.

The group does not need to take further rapid tests on board every 2 days as was previously required - those tests are only needed when travelers show symptoms.

The new rules allow crew working on cruise ships based in the country who are undergoing a self-initiated epidemic prevention program to board in case they can present a negative rapid COVID test.

The easing up of COVID controls came after Taiwan lifted a ban on international cruises in October 2022.

The country is looking forward to a swift restart of international cruise services, which would help the cruise industry resume the growth it was aiming for before the COVID crisis, the bureau said at the time.

Port of Keelung (Taipei City, Taiwan China)

Image: Port of Keelung (Taipei City, Taiwan China)

The ban was introduced on February 6th, 2020, after a Taiwanese woman sailing on Diamond Princess was confirmed to be one of 10 COVID-positive passengers - the second wave of infections on the liner when it arrived in Japan on a roundtrip voyage that included a 10-hour call in Keelung on January 31st.

Taiwan's other cruise ports are Kaohsiung, Hualien, Magong and Taichung.