Tue, May 13, 2003 - Page 4 News List

More warnings issued on trips to Taiwan

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Almost 40 countries have issued some kind of travel warning for people contemplating trips to Taipei, while 19 have imposed entry restrictions on Taiwanese in light of the continued spread of SARS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The sharp increase in the number of countries issuing travel warnings against Taipei or imposing entry restrictions on Taiwanese visitors came a few days after the World Health Organization (WHO) last Friday added Taipei to a list of cities for which the UN agency advised the postponing of non-essential travel because of SARS spread.

The ministry put the 39 countries into three categories depending on the level of the travel advisories issued to their citizens.

Twelve countries, an increase from six as of last Friday, have advised their citizens not to travel to Taiwan for any reason, the ministry said.

Japan and Hungary have joined another nine countries in advising nationals to postpone trips to Taipei, the ministry said.

Seven countries have joined nine other countries in advising nationals to postpone non-essential trips to Taiwan, according to the ministry.

Some 19 countries have imposed entry restrictions for travelers from Taiwan, including eight countries who have adopted the measures since the WHO announcement, the ministry said.

These newly imposed restrictions included Vietnam's decision to temporarily suspend the issuance of tourism visas to Taiwanese.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan have temporarily suspended the issuance of visas to nationals from SARS-affected areas, including Taiwan, the ministry said.

Thailand has strongly advised travelers from Taiwan to wear face masks for 10 days following their arrival or they will be forced to see a local doctor once every three days for the first nine days of their stay, the ministry said.

Mozambique has decided to impose a 10-day quarantine on travelers from SARS-affected areas, the ministry said.

Gambia, a diplomatic ally of Taiwan's, has requested Taiwanese to submit a SARS-free health certificate upon arrival, the ministry said.

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