Without knowing anything about your personal situation, I’d says odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to visit Taiwan in 2021. As of November 2020, the country has already started re-opening its borders to business travelers and students, and has expressed interest in allowing tourists in again as soon as possible.
“As soon as possible” is a vague term, of course, and a deliberately vague one at that. Certainly, if the ability to cross the border was based simply on the (excellent) Taiwan coronavirus response, you’d already be there.
Whether you’re urgently trying to figure out when you can travel to Taiwan again, or are more generally curious about visiting amazing Taiwan destinations next year, I hope you’ll continue reading.
How Covid-19 Went Down in Taiwan
2020 has provided many clues about what it might look like to visit Taiwan in 2021. After containing coronavirus in winter and spring, Taiwan began rolling back its entry ban (which, unlike the one in Japan, never applied to legal foreign residents) in summer; the first beneficiaries were business travelers from Asia-Pacific nations. These travelers (and later students/workers) needed to quarantine for a period determined by their country of origin.
Assuming the fundamentals of coronavirus in Taiwan don’t change dramatically between now and then, I expect tourism to resume in a similarly cautious way. However, I do hope the government gets over its well-documented aversion to mass testing, as I don’t think many people are going to sit in quarantine for 14 days in order to enjoy 2 weeks in Taiwan.
FAQ About Taiwan Tourism Moving Forward
Is Taiwan open for tourism?
Taiwan is not open to tourists, but it is open to many other people. In fact, the Taiwan border closure only really applies to tourists as of November 2020. This is good news when you compare the situation to other Asian countries like Japan and Thailand, which remain hermetically sealed for all intents and purposes.
Are there flights to Taiwan?
No matter when you visit Taiwan in 2021, flights shouldn’t be an issue. The country’s two main carriers (EVA Air and China Airlines) have maintained a relatively robust flight schedule, with nonstop service links to North America, Europe and elsewhere in Asia.
When will Taiwan re-open?
Although the Taiwan Tourism Bureau had stated a wish to begin re-opening to tourism in October 2020, it’s clear as of November that this timetable was not realistic. Life on the ground in Taiwan after coronavirus will likely look the same as it does now, but it’s unclear when tourists will be able to experience this.
Do I have to quarantine in Taiwan?
Foreigners currently able to enter Taiwan as of November 2020 will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, with few exceptions. Additionally, starting in December 2020, all travelers to Taiwan (including Taiwanese nationals) will need to test negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival in Taiwan. I would imagine, if you are able to visit Taiwan in 2021, it will be with some alternative to quarantine, whether that’s a test at the border or providing proof of vaccination against coronavirus.
Is Taiwan worth visiting?
Yes, but I say that as someone who literally created a website in order to inspire foreigners to visit Taiwan. My own lack of objectivity notwithstanding, I do imagine the reasons to visit Taiwan I’ve presented through my dozens of Taiwan blog posts speak for themselves.
The Latest on Taiwan’s Border Closure
While the Taiwan travel ban persists for tourists, the slow easing of restrictions for business travelers and students offers hope. On the other hand, it’s important for all of us to temper out expectations. Taiwan Tourism Bureau expressed back in May that it would like to begin welcoming foreign tourists again in October; this was before Covid resurged worldwide throughout June and July (and, in an even bigger way, in the Northern Hemisphere, starting in autumn).
The good news, whether you want to visit Taiwan in 2021 or prefer to wait until 2022 when things are truly “back to normal,” is that coronavirus will soon be tamed by science and technology. Indeed, with the recent arrival of efficacy readouts on the first batch of vaccines and emergency use having been authorized monoclonal antibody therapies, an actual end to the pandemic is in sight for the first time. If these positive trends continue, Taiwan (and other countries) will be much more likely to fully re-open their borders.
Stay Up to Date With Taiwan Travel Restrictions
Taiwan entry restrictions aren’t changing in an especially rapid fashion, but a sudden change in medical news could lead to an acceleration on the border front. With this being said, I’d recommend not following the news too closely. Doing so can lead you to anticipate outcomes that, while logically congruent for ordinary people, are far too sensible for the idiot politicians controlling them. I speak from experience; trust me.
Likewise, irrespective of when you think you’ll visit Taiwan again, you should also be careful about where you get your news. While Taiwan News is the most ubiquitous English-language news source, its staff write with an air of sensationalism, which often obscures facts and undermines the publication’s credibility. Focus Taiwan, on the other hand, tends to be have less breaking news, in spite of generally being more factual.
The Bottom Line
Want to visit Taiwan in 2021? It’s almost a sure bet that you’ll be able to do so. Taiwan has been keen to increase its international tourism profile for years; the country won’t want to squander the increased brand awareness its handling of the coronavirus pandemic has gained it. What’s still unclear is what inbound tourism will look like in 2021. Will you simply need to test at the border, or will you need to provide proof you’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19? Absent these, will you need to quarantine? Will that even be an option? Regardless of what ends up happening, consider hiring me to plan your trip to Taiwan. I’ll sweat all the ever-changing details!