Unmarried partners from other countries would in principle be allowed to enter Taiwan before foreign tourists, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but added that discussions about when and how to further ease border restrictions are ongoing.
At an afternoon news conference, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman, reiterated that under current regulations, foreign spouses of Taiwanese are allowed to enter the country.
Those who can supply proof of their marriage overseas can apply to the Bureau of Consular Affairs for an entry permit, he said.
Photo: Screen grab from twitter accounts of Barbie Hsu and Koo Jun-yup.
Unmarried partners might be granted permission to enter under “humanitarian” conditions, such as visiting a sick relative, attending a funeral or other emergency, Chuang said.
Borders were opened to foreign business travelers on Monday, he said, adding that there are plans to gradually allow other visitors, including foreign tourists, subject to further developments.
It is hoped that foreign partners would be allowed entry before tourists, although interagency discussions are needed before the restriction can be lifted, Chuang said.
The topic received renewed interest after yesterday’s surprise announcement of Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu’s (徐熙媛) marriage to South Korean musician Koo Jun-yup.
Hsu and Koo — who is known by his stage name DJ Koo — announced they had married on their respective social media accounts.
Although the news took fans by surprise, as 45-year-old Hsu only announced her divorce from Chinese restaurateur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) on Nov. 22 last year, the couple’s whirlwind romance came after a brief relationship more than two decades earlier.
In 2010, Koo said in an interview that he and Hsu once dated for a year when he first came to Taiwan as half of the South Korean dance music duo Clon in 1998.
Due to Koo’s fame at the time, they kept their relationship a secret, often going on dates in disguise.
They separated after about a year, he added.
In a social media post, Hsu confirmed Koo’s announcement, saying: “Life is unpredictable, and I treasure my happiness at this moment. I am grateful that I now have what I have.”
Hsu’s agent also confirmed the marriage, saying that the couple registered their union in South Korea.
Hsu is perhaps best known for her breakout role as Shan Cai (杉菜) in the 2001 Taiwanese romance television series Meteor Garden (流星花園).
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