Taiwan: Flowers and Giant Symbols Welcome First Tourists

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TaiwanFlowers and giant symbols to welcome the first tourists

After being extremely cautious during the pandemic, the island nation has fully reopened its borders.

Taiwan is one of the last places in the world to end mandatory quarantine.

AFP

Taiwan welcomed its first international tourists with floral wreaths after the pandemic reopened on Thursday. Taiwan is among the last places in the world to end mandatory quarantine, as is Hong Kong, which recently fully opened to tourists. Neighboring China is the last major economy to keep its borders closed.

Upon arrival at Taoyuan Airport, the group of holidaymakers from Thailand were presented with flowers and a large bear-shaped mascot. Walaisurang Bayethayajib returns to Taiwan for the first time in 20 years with his daughter Sisiri during the school holidays. “It’s so easy, we don’t have to prepare anything except vaccinations,” assures the 50-year-old, enthusing about the idea of ​​visiting “lakes and all nature.” “Go shopping.”

Bairi Kalong, a native, planned to eat traditional Taiwanese soup “above all” and visit the neon-lit shopping center of Ximenting in Taipei. Taiwan “I missed out,” sighs Thanasot Jayungwattana, who arrived in the territory just before the borders were closed. “I love people and food,” he exclaims.

Contrast with Hong Kong

Taiwan has been praised for its handling of the pandemic, closing its doors too quickly to quell the first wave. Although relatively spared from infections, Japan and Hong Kong have been very careful to reopen their borders, which has consequences for the tourism sector. However, its export-based economy continued to grow.

In practice, the three-day quarantine has been replaced by a week of “self-monitoring”, during which tourists simply check their health with self-testing kits provided on arrival and wear a mask. outside. Taiwan’s system, which is based on mutual trust, contrasts with Hong Kong’s system. There, newcomers are strictly prohibited from entering a restaurant or bar for three days. They are also required to report the results of their drug tests within a week.

(AFP)

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