Taiwan joins Japan, HK in gradual reopening

Hong Kong leader John Lee promises more events such as the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, but tells businesses not to expect Covid restrictions to be eased further anytime soon

TAIWAN joins Hong Kong and Japan in re-opening to overseas travellers with the lifting of compulsory quarantine for Covid-free arrivals and hopes running high for the revival of visitor economies in each destination.

Visa-free entry into Taiwan had resumed from September 12, but with a cap on the number of arrivals and a “3+4” arrangement of three nights in a designated hotel, followed by four days of self-monitoring and testing. Arrivals in Taiwan are now required to conduct seven days of self-health management and advised to avoid crowded areas.

Hong Kong is operating a similar system and the region’s chief executive, John Lee, said this week it would be maintained while Covid continued to be a risk and to avoid pressure on public health services.

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Japan, one of the first to close its borders when Covid broke out in early 2020, this week began allowing vaccinated overseas visitors who have tested negative three days before departure.

Both Japan and Taiwan see the easing of restrictions as vital to reviving their tourism industry with the weakened yen adding to business woes in Japan.

Taiwan sees the reopening as a vital opportunity to present the achievements of its MICE industry over the past two years and show how digital technology was successfully deployed to engage its manufacturers with overseas buyers. A calendar listing 14 international conferences and exhibitions being held in Taiwan from now through 2023 has also been issued to show the island is ready to work with overseas MICE organisers.

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In Hong Kong, chief executive Lee told the British Chamber of Commerce that more events such as the forthcoming Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit can be expected.

The summit is timed to take place with the return of the Rugby Sevens where senior global finance industry leaders are also expected to gather. Government officials plan to use the events to turn around Hong Kong’s tarnished overseas image resulting from the political unrest of 2019 followed by two years of Covid.

Lee said high-profile events would include Hong Kong Fintech Week, the Asia Summit on Global Health and the Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum among others. He will also travel to Bangkok next month to attend Apec.

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