How does Taiwan’s on-arrival COVID-19 testing work?

While Taiwan requires on-arrival and post-arrival COVID testing, it's very straightforward and shouldn't interfere with your trip.

Greetings from Taiwan!

I got here a day ago on my first-ever Starlux flight (one of the most impressive Economy Class experiences I’ve had; full review to come soon!), and although my trip is only 48 hours long, I’m determined to make the most of it. 

While Taiwan does not require pre-departure COVID-19 testing anymore, international arrivals are still required to undergo on-arrival and post-arrival testing. I understand this has caused some concern and confusion, so I figured I’d share a bit about the process. 

tl;dr: it’s very straightforward, and shouldn’t be much of a deterrent to would-be travellers. 

How Taiwan’s on-arrival/post-arrival testing works

Source: Taiwan CDC

On 13 October 2022, Taiwan scrapped mandatory quarantine and replaced it with a 7-day “self-initiated prevention period”. This is basically a convoluted way of saying “monitor your own health for 7 days”.

During this period, you’ll be required to carry out self-administered ART tests. On arrival at Taipei Airport, each traveller aged 2 years and above will be given 4x Abbott Panbio ART kits, as well as an instruction sheet.

ART kit collection at TPE Airport
Complimentary ART kits

The basic principle is this:

  • You need to take an ART on the day of arrival or day after
  • If you want to leave your accommodation, you must have a negative ART result dated within the past 2 calendar days
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, take an ART immediately

I’m assuming you’re not travelling to Taiwan to stay in your room the whole time, so if you’re heading out daily, your testing schedule would look like this. 

😷 COVID-19 Testing Regime
DayTest?
Day 0
(Arrival)
✓ 
Day 1 
Day 2✓ 
Day 3 
Day 4✓ 
Day 5 
Day 6✓ 
Day 7 
Testing is not required for travellers aged below 2

That’s why you’re issued with four kits- it’s enough to last you the entire 7-day period (technically eight days, since the day of arrival is Day 0). Obviously, there’s no need to finish all the kits if your trip to Taiwan is less than seven days; since I’m only here for 48 hours, I just need to use one kit in total. 

There is no need to report your ART results; the entire system works on the honour rule.

However, if you test positive, the Taiwan CDC issues the following advice:

1. If you test positive, please seek medical attention as soon as possible and have your test result confirmed by a doctor through a telemedicine/video consultation, by asking a friend or family member to bring your positive test result to a clinic/institution responsible for home care (including public health center) or contact your local health bureau to arrange for you to go to such a clinic/institution.

For more information, please visit the What Should I Do If Rapid-tested Positive section on the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control website.

2.  Foreigners or those who are not enrolled in the NHI program may have their friends, contacts in Taiwan, or local health bureau assist in telemedicine/video consultations or arranging for them to go to clinics/institutions responsible for home care (including public health centers) to evaluate test results.

For a list of medical consultation hotlines of local health bureaus and medical institutions that can provide telemedicine consultation or medical treatment for foreigners by city/county, please visit the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control website.

Foreigners will be assisted by the local health bureau in identifying a place that meets the relevant criteria for isolation, such as an enhanced government quarantine facility or quarantine hotel.

International arrivals may take public transport if they don’t have any symptoms

If you’re not experiencing any symptoms on arrival, you can take any mode of transportation you wish to your hotel, including public transport.

There are also no restrictions on the activities you can do during your self-initiated prevention period. You may visit restaurants and attractions as per normal.  

One person per room?

If you look at the infographics provided by the Taiwanese CDC, you may note that it specifies a rule of “one person per room”. Rest assured this is not the case. 

As per the FAQs on the Taiwan CDC site: 

Q4. Can people entering Taiwan on the same day undergo self-initiated prevention in the same room?

A4: Yes. Staying in the same room is allowed if there is a need to do so. However, if one of the individuals entering Taiwan on the same day becomes a COVID-19 confirmed case, the other people who have been staying with the confirmed case will be listed as close contacts and should comply with related epidemic prevention measures.

Therefore, if you’re travelling with friends or family, you can share a room as you wish. The only restriction is that you need to have entered Taiwan on the same day, which I suppose is because they don’t want people’s 7-day periods overlapping. 

Conclusion

TPE arrival hall

When I first read about Taiwan’s on-arrival testing requirement, I thought it’d be similar to what we saw in the early days of post-COVID travel, where passengers were required to test at the airport and wait for negative results.

Thankfully, it’s a lot simpler than that. You land, you get your kits, you clear immigration, you get your bag, you leave the airport. Kit collection aside, the process is really no more complicated than it was before the pandemic. There’s even a lengthy queue at immigration- time to break out that APEC Card!

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Andre

Hi Aaron, is it still compulsory mask-up in all public spaces in TW? That’s the main deterrent now

Peter

Is it also enforced in practice?

Sakinah

Hi Aaron, can I just enquire, during the initial 7 days, is it possible to change residence? Eg, Day 1 in Taipei and Day 3 in Taichung?

Gary

Aaron, no restriction on dining out in restaurants right? I saw some restrictions but also heard no real impact

Eric

No thanks, not going with such stupid ridiculous testing

Anthony

How long do you think it’ll take to clear immigration based on the current traffic?

Pooh

Hi Aaron, can I confirm that when I arrived on Day 0 if my ART tested negative I can go out to restaurants and attractions as per normal?

Celine

Hi Aaron, will there be testing required when we fly back from Taiwan to our home country?

Hendry

Hi, Aaron, i will transit for one night and stay in Hotel near airport. Do we need to show the result of our covid test when we check in for the next day (with the ART Kit)

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