Sun, May 25, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Travel advisories issued worldwide against Taiwan

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Over 50 countries have issued different levels of travel advisories against traveling to Taiwan, while 32 have placed various entry restrictions on Taiwanese nationals because of the continuing SARS outbreak, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As of Friday, the ministry said 14 countries have advised their nationals not to travel to Taiwan, while 16 suggested deference of travels and another 20 advised their nationals to postpone non-essential trips.

But the ministry apparently wrongly placed the United Kingdom in the third category, while in reality London upgraded its travel warnings against Taiwan earlier in the week.

"The Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health -- on the basis of information from the World Health Organization -- has strongly advised the British public to defer travel to Taiwan for the time being due to the outbreak of SARS," the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office Web site said yesterday.

Vietnam has suspended the issuance of tourism visas to Taiwanese, and Mongolia has temporarily stopped the issuance of all visas to Taiwanese, except for businesspeople and diplomats.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Mauritius and Barbados have also temporarily stopped the issuance of visas or entry permits to Taiwan passport holders, the ministry said.

Nationals intending to visit Palau should note that the country has banned the entry of travelers who have visited SARS-affected areas during the past 14 days.

Taiwan's African ally Malawi has banned the entry of visitors from Taiwan, while St. Vincent & the Grenadines has suspended mutual visits between the country and Taiwan, the ministry said.

Travel warnings

* Level One: Advice against travels to Taiwan (14 countries, including Spain, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Palau, Ireland and Malawi)

* Level Two: Defer trips to Taiwan (17 countries, including Malaysia, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, France and United Kingdom)

* Level Three: Defer non-essential travels to Taiwan (19 countries, including the US, Turkey, Italy, Luxemburg, Australia, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Sweden)

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Russia has cancelled all business and cultural activities with participants from Taiwan. Work-permit holders from Taiwan will be placed in 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Singapore, while Malaysia requires work-permit holders and student-visa holders from Taiwan to go into quarantine, the ministry said.

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