U.K. includes Taiwan in its safe travel corridors

LONDON/TAIPEI (TCA) — Taiwan has been included by the United Kingdom in its safe travel corridors from which travelers to England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival beginning from July 10, according to a notice posted on the U.K.’s government portal, Focus Taiwan reported.

Including Taiwan in the list of 59 countries or regions makes the U.K. the first major country to allow Taiwanese travelers to enter without a need to conduct self-isolation.

This comes as the U.K. gradually relaxes its travel restrictions, which have been in place since March.

Aside from Taiwan, other Asian countries or regions on the list includes: Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea and Vietnam.

However, for now, the travel corridor exemption is only good for England. Travelers arriving to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still subjected to the U.K.’s 14-day self-isolation rule and face penalties if they do not comply.

In addition, travelers who have been to or have stopped in a country that is not on the travel corridors exemption list still need to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.

Meanwhile, the British Office Taipei, the de facto British embassy in Taiwan due to the absence of formal diplomatic relations, also announced last week that the U.K. will lift its ban on non-essential travel to Taiwan for British nationals.

The decision was taken after considering Taiwan’s successful handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the office.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) welcomed the British government’s decision to include Taiwan in its travel corridor exemption list and thanked it for recognizing Taiwan’s accomplishments in the battle against the coronavirus.

Taiwan’s airline industry players are planning to increase flights between London and Taipei, the MOFA said.