Taiwan has further eased COVID-19 protocols for international cruises in an attempt to boost tourism, the Maritime and Port Bureau announced yesterday.
Effective immediately, Taiwan no longer requires inbound passengers to present a negative rapid COVID-19 test taken on the day of arrival in Taiwan or the previous day, the bureau said in a statement.
Instead, passengers only need to conduct a test if they have symptoms, the bureau said, adding that they must quarantine onboard if the result is positive.
Outbound passengers undergoing self-initiated prevention, such as those who entered Taiwan within seven days of boarding the cruise liner, still need to present a negative rapid COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding, it said.
However, they do not need to take further rapid tests onboard as was previously required, the bureau said, adding that those tests are only required if passengers show symptoms.
Crew members working on cruise ships based in Taiwan who are undergoing self-initiated prevention are allowed to board if they present a negative rapid COVID-19 test, it said.
Taiwan lifted a ban on international cruises in October last year.
The bureau said at the time that Taiwan was looking forward to swiftly resuming international cruise services to help the industry resume the growth it was aiming for before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ban was introduced on Feb. 6, 2020, after a Taiwanese woman traveling on the Diamond Princess cruise liner was confirmed to be one of 10 passengers infected with COVID-19 — the second wave of infections on the ship — when it arrived in Japan after a round-trip cruise that included a 10-hour stop in the Port of Keelung on Jan. 31.
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