2022 Guide to Taiwan’s Quarantine Hotels and COVID Travel Restrictions

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Taiwan’s borders have remained closed to all tourists and international visitors, with only a few exceptions, since March 19, 2020, and they are still closed today.

Entry restrictions to Taiwan due to the COVID-19 pandemic have effectively destroyed my travel business. Because of this, and the fact that the arrival rules are so complicated and always changing, I’ve avoided writing about them here, on my mostly Taiwan-focused website until now. In fact, I’ve barely mentioned the dreaded words “COVID” or “quarantine” in my articles. And like you, I just look forward to the day when we can put all of this behind us.

I’ve personally cancelled my family’s flights back to Taiwan from where we now live in Canada twice in the last two years, not because we couldn’t get in (we are citizens/permanent residents), but because of all the testing/quarantining costs on both ends.

This year, in May to July of 2022, we finally went back for the first time since 2019. All the below info about entry requirements, how to quarantine in Taiwan, COVID rules, and so on come from my personal experience doing the arrival and quarantine process in Taiwan, as well as government websites and the experiences of people reported online as well as people I personally know.

I will continue to update this post with the latest info as the polices change, so make sure to bookmark it!

For the latest updates as soon as they roll in, please join my Taiwan Travel Planning group, and for quarantine-specific questions, I also recommend the group Quarantine Support in Taiwan. You can also call 1922 (then #7 for English) in Taiwan for any COVID or quarantine related questions.

For more information about planning your trip, see my Taiwan Travel Guide, favorite things to do in Taiwan, and recommended Taiwan travel itinerary.

Taiwan’s Current Border Restrictions

Taiwan flag with a fence over it and the words "Attention: Quarantine"

When Taiwan first closed its borders, it came in steps. Before the full tourist ban was implemented, the countries of the world were categorized into levels based on how bad their outbreaks were, there were different restrictions for each level, and they changed almost daily. Suffice to say it was very messy.

When Taiwan finally starts opening to tourists again, my guess is that it will also come in steps like this, with travel bubbles or people from only certain countries allowed to come in first, or different restrictions depending on where you’re flying from. For example, since I first published this article, they’ve indicated that they may someday accept visitors from countries with similar or lower rates of COVID compared to Taiwan.

As this process unfolds, I will continue to update this article daily with the latest Taiwan entry restrictions by country.

Are Taiwan’s Borders Open to Tourists Right Now?

A boy and girl with masks and quarantine sticker outside of Taiwan's main airport
My son and daughter (who are Taiwanese citizens) arriving at Taoyuan International Airport

The short answer is: No, Taiwan’s borders have been closed to tourists ever since the country’s first outbreak in early 2020.

The Taiwanese government and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), under the Taiwan Center for Disease Control (CDC) have impressively crushed two major waves of COVID since the pandemic began. Until mid-2022, there was an admirably low number of COVID deaths in Taiwan, less than a thousand, which is less than a quarter of my home province in Canada, but with five times my province’s population. Once Omicron finally got in, the numbers skyrocketed, but thanks to vaccinations, universal mask wearing, and impressive contract tracing, the number of deaths remained comparatively low.

You can see the latest CDC updates with the most current changes and assessments of the situation. Updates come daily.

Numerous press announcements over the last two years have hinted at possible loosening of border restrictions when future vaccination benchmarks were reached (for example 80% double vaccination, 50% booster, and now they are saying 50% vaccination rate among young children). But when those first two benchmarks were reached, it was right around the time that Omicron took off, so they decided to keep the borders closed after all to prevent a Hong Kong-like situation from occurring.

As of March 7, 2022, Taiwan loosened the mandatory quarantine for all arrivals (for those who can get in, that is) from 14 days to 10 days (technically 11 nights, as the arrival and check out dates aren’t counted). Moreover, it allowed them to do their quarantine at home instead of a quarantine hotel, so long as their home meets certain requirements. They also made it even easier for business travelers to enter from this day on. The next step was a further reduction to 7 days of quarantine, which started at 12 a.m. on May 9, 2022.

Now, as of June 15, anyone who is allowed to enter Taiwan (see next section) has to undergo the 3 + 4 quarantine process. These means 3 days or quarantine + 4 days of “self initiated epidemic prevention”. In practice, the day of arrival doesn’t count, so it’s actually 4 + 4. Moreover, they expect you do stay in the same location for all 8 days (exceptions are allowed, with permission), so there has been a lot of criticism that this is basically the same thing as the previous 7 days of quarantine, just with different words. The only difference is that you are now allowed to go out in the second half, for “necessities only” or to work, and provided you’ve passed a COVID rapid test.

On July 25, they started letting 6 categories of people to apply for permission to enter. These are volunteers, missionaries, religious scholars, interns, and people on international exchanges and working holidays. These people are still subject to 3 + 4 days of quarantine. The next step will be a reduction to “0 + 7 days” (zero days of quarantine but seven days of self monitoring).

The absolute last step will be letting tourists in. From the very beginning, Taiwan has considered tourists the last priority. The country is not heavily dependent on tourist dollars like so many other countries. In fact, their economy has been booming through COVID, and there are enough local travelers to support local hotels and attractions. Having said that, several businesses who depended largely on foreign guests have, unfortunately, gone out of business. Examples include Modern Toilet Ximen, the Starbucks in Taipei 101, and several tour guides that focused on international visitors.

CECC spokespersons have only made vague comments about when this may happen, but current thinking is that they will announce zero days of quarantine in August, implement it in September, and finally allow regular tourists in sometime after that.

Who Can Enter Taiwan Right Now?

A hand holding a Taiwan passport with a plane parking area of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in the background
Taiwanese citizens have never been barred from entering their own country.

The following people can enter Taiwan, but must undergo the full testing and quarantine process, which I’ll cover further below.

  • Taiwanese citizens (holding a Taiwanese passport)
  • Foreign residents of Taiwan (holding an ARC or APRC)
  • Foreign relatives of Taiwan citizens/ARC holders (i.e. children and spouses of citizens or residents)

The below can also enter but must apply for and receive approval first:

  • Business/investment/contract visitors
  • International students coming to study in formal degree programs in Taiwan
  • Persons coming to Taiwan for employment
  • Persons coming for emergency or humanitarian reasons
  • Volunteers, missionaries, religious scholars, interns, and people on international exchanges and working holidays

Are Transit Passengers Allowed at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport

For most of the pandemic, transit passengers have NOT been allowed at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport. This finally changed on June 15, 2022. So now, YES, transiting at Taiwan’s main airport is allowed again, though it will take a while for airlines to actually start routing more flights through Taiwan again.

Taiwan’s Current Quarantine Protocol

A quarantine taxi's protective panel covered with quarantine stickers from arriving passengers at Taoyuan International Airport
Our quarantine taxi driver from the airport collected people’s quarantine stickers. Note: quarantine taxis are no longer mandatory. You can get picked up and dropped off at quarantine location by family or friends, but still can’t stay with others or take public transportation to get there.

Everyone who is able to enter Taiwan has to undergo testing before and upon arrival and a mandatory 3 days of self-paid quarantine + 4 days of self monitoring (technically it totals to 8 nights, because your first night and check out day don’t count), as of June 15, 2022. The only people who have been able to get reduced quarantine have been pilots/airline workers and some high level business or political visitors.

If you are one of the lucky ones who is allowed into Taiwan (citizen, resident, or relative of the former/latter), you’ll still have to undergo all of the following to enter Taiwan:

Before Coming to Taiwan

A screenshot of the Taiwan quarantine system for entry form
This form must be filled in before you arrive. Find it here.
  • Book a quarantine hotel or arrange a residence to quarantine in (more info on both below). You need to book it for 8 nights under the “3 + 4” system, since your arrival day and first night count as “day zero”.
  • As of August 15, 2022, NOBODY needs to take a pre-flight PCR test before coming to Taiwan anymore (but you still have to be one of the select groups of people who are allowed to enter Taiwan). So you can ignore the next three paragraphs, but I’ll keep them up (with strikethrough) in case anyone needs that information.
  • Get an RT- PCR test 1 or 2 days before your scheduled flight (July 14 update: Citizens, ARC-holders, and transit passengers no longer need to get a pre-flight PCR test). For any other travelers who are not citizens, ARC holders, or transit passengers, you still need to get a PCR test 1-2 days before your flight departure. For example, if your flight to Taiwan departs on June 9 (even for example, 1 AM of June 9), you should get the test on June 7 or 8. If you have a connecting flight to Taiwan, you count back from the date of the first leg of the flight, unless your stopover is more than 2 days. Make sure that you get it early enough so that you will receive the results before your flight, but not too early. Find out in advance how long the results will take. Important point: the test results paper must indicate your name (matching passport name) passport, date of birth or passport number, specimen collection date, testing method, report date, and test result. The “specimen collection date (or date the test was administered) is essential, so make sure the facility includes it. The test result has to be negative. A digital copy of the report is fine.
  • If your PCR test is positive, you’ll have to reschedule your flight, cancel your quarantine hotel (if you have one booked, and they mostly allow this), and retest again TWICE starting in 10 days (first re-test after 10 days, second one another 24 hours after first one). If both retests are negative, then you can fly to Taiwan. This is technically the rule, but some people have reported that even though they retested twice, nobody in Taiwan asked for proof of their two tests when they later arrived. I’m not saying you should only test once; but that’s just what people have reported.
  • Children aged 6 or under, those with medical exemption, or people in country that doesn’t offer PCR test don’t need to take the pre-flight PCR test. However, you have to print and fill out this PCR test exemption form and present it to your airline for check in and upon arrival. In our experience, the airline then placed us at the back of the plane, and my 6-year-old daughter (who didn’t get the test) had to use a separate toilet on the plane. Upon arrival in Taiwan, we had to exit the plane last, then we had to be met by a staff member on arrival, who took us to a separate line to register her, before we could go through the usual lines. It made our arrival process almost 30 min longer. Note: if you have another reason for not being able to take the PCR test, you’ll need to have sufficient proof.
  • Fill in and submit the Quarantine System For Entry Form online 48 hours or less before arriving in Taiwan. If you do it more than 48 hours before your arrival time (in Taiwan time), it will be considered invalid. I recommend doing this at home before your flight, not at the airport like many people do. For us, our total flying time from Canada to Taiwan (including all checking in, waiting, transfers) was 22 hours, which gave us a full day before leaving to do this. Many people don’t do it until they get to the airport, then find the form is confusing or takes a long time to fill out, causing a lot of stress right before their check in. Do it at home!
  • To fill in this form, you’ll need some personal info, flight number, quarantine hotel information (including hotel ID and address) or address of home quarantine. One child age 12 or under can be added per one adult form–there will be a spot to “add a person under 12” on the final page before you submit; you’ll need to fill in the whole page with all your person info first. For departure country, enter your original departure country (unless you have a stopover more than two days on the way). For the flight number, enter the details of the one that lands in Taiwan. If you don’t have a Taiwan phone number yet, enter your home number. You’ll be able to get a SIM card when you arrive in Taiwan and update the form, with help from the airport agents.
  • When you click on the submit form, the form will be sent to the authorities in Taiwan. There won’t be any popup or words telling you that the submission was successful, but don’t worry, it works. Then it will go to a page showing your final report, called “Quarantine System for Entry – Departure Place Declaration Certificate”. This is what you need. Screenshot it. The airline will ask to see this before you get on the flight to Taiwan. At the bottom of the page, there is a confusing little button that says “Save – Press it for 2 seconds”. Many people mistakenly think this is the final submission button. It’s not. Your form has already been submitted. This button, if held for 2 seconds (on mobile only) will save a copy of the form in your phone’s camera roll.
  • If you have entered a non-Taiwanese phone number like we did, you’ll probably receive a text message from the Taiwan CDC before you board your flight. You don’t need to click the link contained in the message, but save the text message. It’s just a confirmation message, and may be needed later when you arrive in Taiwan.
  • Make sure your phone is charged when you arrive in Taiwan. I suggest bringing a battery pack.
  • There may be additional forms required by your airline. We received an email from EVA airlines with a checklist of all the forms we needed. Also note, your country may require proof of vaccination for domestic flights or checking in at your airport, but Taiwan technically doesn’t (yet) require proof of vaccination to enter.

What Happens When You Arrive in Taiwan

Line of people getting off plane in Taiwan.
Getting off the plane. You will also have to take this “non swine-flu country” card. Just hang onto it until customs.
  • Get off the plane and follow the signs to exit. If you are traveling with a person who didn’t get the pre-flight PCR test (like us with our 6-year-old daughter), you may have to leave the plane last. When we got off the plane, there was a lady waiting with a sign with our daughter’s name on it. We then had to wait for all the other people with young kids who didn’t get tested. The woman then took us through the entire processing area, where there were hundreds of people waiting in lines, to a line where we had to register our daughter, give them the PCR test exemption form, and then go back to join the long lines.
  • Follow the signs/flow of people until you reach the processing area. It’s impossible to get lost or go the wrong way – there’s only one way to go.
People lining up to buy a SIM card at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Line on the left for buying a SIM card, line on the right if you already have a Taiwan one.
  • If you don’t have a SIM card yet, join the line to buy one FIRST (line on the left in the above picture). Do not get in any other lines, such as the immigration LINE. When we arrived, the line was quite long (we waited about 20 minutes). It’s clearly marked, and there are lots of staff to guide people. But still, don’t go into sheep mode and just get in whatever line it seems everyone else is getting in (several people have reported doing this, and then having to go back to the end of the SIM card line.
  • The SIM card counter has multiple phone options, and the staff will help to switch your card. They accept cash or international credit cards. You’ll see that most options come with unlimited data, plus some extra amount for voice calls. The first two (Chunghwa) are the most recommended and reliable, especially if you need strong WiFi for video conferences or anything like that.
A list of SIM card prices at Taoyuan Airport for quarantine
SIM card prices
  • After you get your SIM card, ask a staff member to help you input it into your “Health Declaration Certificate” report. We watched as a staff member did ours: first, he went to the text message that we had received before boarding our flight in Canada. He clicked the link. It took him to a page where it asked to enter the last 5 digits of our passport number. Then it went to a page where he input our new phone numbers. (I don’t want to say this is all he did, because he was doing it very quickly and I may not have caught everything). After he did that, we received a new text message with a link. When we clicked that link, it went to our new, updated “Quarantine Declaration Certificate”, which contains a bar code. Screenshot the form, as you will need to show it several times after this. If you have added a child 12 or under on your form, this process will need to be done once for yourself, and again for your child, and there will be one final report for each of you. Screenshot both of them.
Example of a "Quarantine Declaration Certificate"
The final “Declaration Certificate”. Screenshot it, because you’ll need to show it several times.
  • Now you get to join the other line, which is opposite the SIM card station/line. When we first arrived, this line was very long, but because we were at the end, by the time we finally got in this line, it was quite short.
  • If you already had a Taiwan phone number before arrival, you don’t need to join the SIM card line. Just go directly to the immigration line. You should receive a text message with a link to your “Quarantine Declaration Certificate” within a few minutes of arrival. If you don’t, ask an agent.
COVID test registration station and Taoyuan International Airport
COVID test registration station, where you’ll get a spit cup and rapid tests, or be sent away from for a PCR test
  • When you get to the front, you’ll need to show your passport, provide your phone number (if you just bought a SIM card, they’ll give you a paper that shows your new number), and show your Health Declaration Certificate to register for your arrival COVID saliva test. NOTE: as of June 15, EVERYONE does the saliva test, no matter your country of original. Before, people from all (and then later only certain) countries still had to do the more intrusive and painful nose test). Also note: unlike with the nose tests, you no longer have to wait at the airport for the results. You will be contacted later while in quarantine if you test positive.
  • If your child is under 2, it would be too tough to collect the amount of spit they require (5 ml), so he or she will need to take an Orophraryngeal swab. They will give you a paper indicating the kind of test you will need to take. Our kids (aged 6 and 8), were able to spit enough, but it took them a while.
  • At this same station, they will also give you two antigen rapid test boxes per person. One is to be used on the final day of your quarantine to allow you to exit quarantine, and an extra one is provided for use in case you start showing symptoms of COVID. (Note: with the changes on June 15, you may now get more than two).
  • After receiving your spit cup and rapid antigen test kits, you’ll proceed through immigration, where you’ll have to show your “Health Declaration Certificate” form to the agent.
Covid saliva test form at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport
Saliva test form
Line of people in the baggage collection area of Taoyuan Airport during Covid
Line to leave baggage area, go through customs, and enter arrivals area
  • Next, you’ll proceed to the baggage area to collect your baggage.
  • Next, you’ll proceed into the arrival area (where in the past the public could wait for and greet arriving passengers). You’ll join a long queue for the spit test. The line makes its way outside, where you’ll leave your luggage cart, the proceed around the corner of the building to the outdoor testing area. You’ll show your passport and the little paper they gave you with the type of test checked. Then you get to stand at a booth and spit into the little cup you were provided with earlier until it reached the little line at 5 ml. It’s a lot of spit, so it might take you a while. I would suggest starting to collect spit in your mouth from the moment you step outside of the airport. Then, you close the lid, but it in a little ziplock bag provided, and give it to the staff, along with the little paper. If your baby has to do the throat swab, they’ll also do it here. After you complete this step, they’ll put a quarantine sticker on your shirt (you can see people’s quarantine stickers on one of my pictures above, posted on the separation wall inside a taxi).
People at COVID saliva testing booths at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Outdoor saliva test area at the side of the Terminal 2 building
  • Go back to collect your luggage cart and proceed to the taxi area (if you plan to take a taxi), which is right in front of the main arrival hall doors. There are staff directing people where to go. The main (by far longest) line is for all destinations in Northern Taiwan, including Taipei. For destinations in Central or South Taiwan, they will direct you to the appropriate line.
  • If you’re getting picked up by a friend or family member, that is now allowed, but you can’t go stay with them. They can just drive you to your hotel or quarantine location which meets all the necessary standards (see below section). You still can’t take the airport MRT or other forms of public transportation to reach your quarantine location.
  • If you need to withdraw money from an ATM for paying for your taxi, or to have some cash for ordering food during your quarantine, or for getting home after your quarantine, go back into the airport arrival hall and do it before getting in the taxi line. I strongly recommend having at least a couple thousands NTD just in case. There are also currency exchange booths in the airport (before collecting luggage).
The doors to the quarantine taxi area at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Quarantine taxi area (huge line of people waiting for taxis outside)
  • While in line for the taxi, they will spray you and your luggage down with sanitization liquid. You may also (once again) have to show your Health Declaration Certificate. The taxi line can be really long (we waited almost an hour).
  • Some taxis take credit cards, but most don’t. The set taxi fares from Taoyuan Airport, which you will pay to the drive upon arrival, are: pay by meter up to a maximum of $1000 (Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Hsinchu), 1000 (Miaoli and Yilan), 1080 (Taichung), 1340 (Changhua), 1560 (Yunlin), 1630 (Nantou), 1750 (Hualien), 1840 (Chiayi), 2380 (Tainan), 2660 (Kaohsiung), 2950 (Pingtung), and 3500 (Taitung). Tipping taxi drivers in Taiwan is not common, and taxi drivers are always honest. You will NOT be scammed by a taxi driver like in other countries.
Price list of quarantine taxis from Taoyuan Airport to cities across taiwan
Set taxi prices across Taiwan
Line of passengers and quarantine taxis outside Taiwan airport
Line of hundreds of people waiting for quarantine taxis
  • Upon arrival at your quarantine location, enter your hotel/residence immediately and don’t leave until until 12:01 AM or later of the 4th night. If you are caught going out, the fine is extremely high.
  • Then, from days 5 to 8, you are in the “self-initiated epidemic prevention” period. The rules are different than the previous “self health management period”. Before, that basically meant you could leave, go out, stay with family, live like normal but just avoid crowded indoor places and monitor your health situation. For the new “self initiation epidemic prevention” period, the rules are stricter. See the next section below.
  • On the day of your arrival at your place of quarantine, and every day or other day after that, an English-speaking agent will call you to check in on you and ask if you are feeling okay. Make sure your phone is charged and that you catch the call. If you miss it, they may send someone to check on you (although the agent admitted to my wife that they are too busy nowadays, so they will probably just try to call you again later. You can also ask this guy about garbage pick up.
  • If your airport saliva test turns out positive, they will contact you and advise you on how to proceed. If you’re alone, there’s a chance you will be able to stay where you are in quarantine but for an additional set number of days, or they may come pick you up and take you to a government facility. If you’re a family and only one tests positive, that person will may be taken away.
  • It is possible an agent will come to check your quarantine location to make show it meets standards, but they seem to be doing this less now. My wife also got a call from the local neighborhood leaders. He then dropped off a package for us containing some garbage bags and masks.
  • Obviously, do not leave your place of quarantine, even stepping outside or down the hall. People have been fined for this. Also don’t let anybody in. If quarantining at a residence, you can order food, or people can leave things for you.

Post Quarantine: Self Health Management Period VS Self Initiated Epidemic Prevention Period

In the past, arriving travels had to undergo a period of “self health management” after quarantine. This meant always wearing a mask, watching your health, and avoiding busy places. You weren’t supposed to eat in restaurants (in practice, nobody was checking), but convenience stores or shopping for groceries was allowed. Public transportation and exercising outside were OK, too. You weren’t supposed to visit a hospital/clinic or make any doctor’s appointments during this time.

Under the new 3 + 4 program (technically 8 nights), the first 4 nights (day zero plus 3 days) is strict quarantine. The last 4 days is called “self initiated epidemic prevention”, and it is much stricter. First, they expect you to stay in the same location. This has led to a lot of criticism, because they basically went from 8 nights mandatory hotel stay to 8 nights mandatory hotel stay with a new name. In the official wording, they only say “staying in the same location is ideal”. This is open to a lot of interpretation.

The main difference is that during the second 4 days, you are now allowed to leave your hotel (or home) “for necessities or for work”. This vague wording has led to a lot of confusion, as always. In order to leave your quarantine location in these 4 days, you have to first do a rapid COVID test and test negative. You’ll have to report the negative test to the officer who calls you (they no longer ask for a picture of the negative test. You just have to tell them and they trust you). However, you still aren’t allowed to stay with family or friends who were already in Taiwan, nor are you allowed to go to restaurants, crowded indoor places, etc. Some arriving passengers have also reported being able to move from their quarantine location to a residence (such as their home) after the first four days, but they had to ask for special permission to do so.

My opinion is that, like the previous “self health management” period, they aren’t going to carefully watch or track you. Moreover, because their wording of what is allowed is so vague (you can go to work??? what if you work in a busy, crowded place? but you can’t do other things?) I think this is basically going to be the honor system, and I recommend doing what seems logical. Go out, do the things you need to do, but don’t (just throwing out examples) head straight to a packed night club. Having said that, for those staying in quarantine hotel, they hotels themselves may keep an eye on you somewhat (hotel owners can range from not caring at all to caring too much, and the level of understanding they have of the official current rules also varies), so that’s something to keep in mind. I’ve heard of several hotels who allow guests to only go out at certain times, for example 7 am to 11 pm.

Until spring of 2022, everyone was supposed to download and use the Taiwan Social Distancing App (臺灣社交距離). This was the country’s way of tracing all COVID cases and notifying those who have been in contact with a case. However, with the explosion of local COVID cases in May 2022, the contact tracing system collapsed. They are no longer attempting to trace every case, so you don’t have to do this anymore.

If you were vaccinated in Taiwan, you can apply for your digital vaccine certificate, which may be required to enter some restaurants, gyms, night clubs, and so on in Taiwan (Note: in the two months I recently spent in Taiwan, I was never once asked for this). The system only works if you got your vaccines in Taiwan, because then you will already be registered in their system.

If you got your vaccines abroad and have a good vaccine card issued by your country, you can just show that, if you’re ever even asked for it. Just have the document/QR code ready to show on your phone if needed.

Do I have to wear a mask all the time once I’m in Taiwan?

Not quite, but almost. For most of the pandemic, Taiwanese have followed the rule of near universal mask wearing while in public. For example, most locals can be seen wearing masks even outdoors, even while walking down an empty street by themselves. The rules were slightly loosened on July 19, 2022. Currently, these are cases when you DON’T have to wear a mask, but some locals may still wear them in these cases out of respect for others or because they are still worried about getting COVID:

  • While at home or inside your hotel room
  • While riding a scooter or bicycle
  • While exercising (indoors or outdoors), playing sports, at the pool, jogging, etc.
  • While hiking or at the beach, forest, or mountains
  • While taking photos, videos, giving a speech, etc.
  • While eating, drinking, or smoking

For more information, see the official announcement here.

What Happens If I Test Positive on Arrival?

Every day, several people test positive upon arrival in Taiwan. Because they now only do saliva tests at the airport and you leave before the results are ready, you’ll be notified later.

If this happens to you, you MAY be picked up and taken to a government quarantine facility and have to stay there for 10 days (unless you test negative on your two following tests, in which case you may be allowed to leave earlier). However, you may also just be asked to stay at your current quarantine location.

In the case of traveling with family members, I used to recommend packing your luggage separately (one bag for each person) in case you got separated at the airport, for example, if only one person tested positive and was taken away. Now, I would say to at least be mentally prepared for the possibility that, within a day or two of arrival, if only one of you tests positive, they may suddenly call you and tell you that you have 30 minutes to pack a bag before they come pick you up.

The government quarantine facilities vary, and aren’t much different than a regular quarantine hotel. They could be located anywhere in Taiwan. The same friend I mentioned above got sent to one in Nantou, in the middle of Taiwan, where he had a lovely natural view out a large window that he could easily open (a much desired feature in regular quarantine hotels).

However, many people complain that the government facilities are stricter than the regular quarantine hotels. They may check your luggage for liquor and other prohibited items, which regular hotels won’t do. They are also stricter about ordering food in, like it can only be done at very specific times or can’t be done at all. And instead of self-administered rapid tests, a nurse will actually come in and do the test on you.

On the plus side, these facilities are free! However, if you’ve already booked a quarantine hotel, it may be too late to get your money back. You could at least try for a partial refund. At the end, when you take a taxi onward to wherever you’re going next in Taiwan, you’ll need to pay for that.

In the case of families traveling with children, if only a child tests positive, one parent will be able to go with him or her. When separated like this, if the quarantined COVID-positive person tests negative on the first two tests done in room (days 2 and 4), he or she will then be allowed to rejoin his/her family wherever they are quarantining. It might take a day to process, so you could expect to be rejoined on day 5 or so.

Another note: As the COVID case numbers continue to rise quickly, Taiwan is running out of government quarantine facilities. As of April 20, 2022, people who are already in Taiwan and test positive for COVID but with mild symptoms or asymptomatic are now being allowed to quarantine at home instead of being sent to a government facility. While those who test positive upon arrival are still sometimes being taken to government facilities (i.e. not allowed to go home and quarantine there), this could change in the near future.

What happens if I test positive later in Taiwan, or come into contact with a positive person?

As of Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the rule for those who’ve been in very close contact with a COVID-positive person was “3 + 4”, meaning you had to isolate for 3 days then follow self health management for 4 days but on May 16, 2022, the government announced this was no longer required. Now, if you’ve had three doses of vaccine, you don’t have to isolate, even if a close contact (like family member or close coworker) tests positive, so long as you yourself aren’t showing symptoms.

If you’ve done a rapid antigen test on yourself, come up positive, and you have no symptoms or mild symptoms, you should call 1922 to report that you have COVID and then follow their instructions. You may be sent to a facility or just told to isolate for 10 days at home. Do not go to a hospital or clinic. Elderly people (75+) or babies (2 and under) may still be sent to a hospital, even with mild or no conditions.

If you have serious conditions, such as strong chest pain or trouble breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you suspect you may have come into contact with a COVID case, do not go to a hospital for testing; the hospitals are overwhelmed and have asked people not to do this.

Quarantine Hotels

Taiwan’s quarantine hotels are essentially regular hotels that have adopted all the protocol in order to qualify as quarantine hotels. Choose carefully, as you’ll be stuck in the same room for the duration of your quarantine period!

Prices include three meals a day, which are brought to your room. Unfortunately, most of them only offer a full refund up to two days before arrival, so if you test positive at the airport and get sent to a government quarantine facility, you may not get all of your money back from the hotel. (Note: at least the government facilities are free).

How to Book a Quarantine Hotel

The most popular search engine for booking quarantine hotels in Taiwan is Mr. Host (booking site / Facebook page).

There are so many hotels available that choosing one can be intimidating. Also, the Mr. Host site can be difficult to use (when I tried, the “check availability” on some hotels button didn’t work), and sometimes the final price or room features are different that what is first shown, which is frustrating.

However, the Mr. Host team is very helpful, and you can even message them with a list of things you are hoping for in a room (for example, window, balcony, adjoining rooms, children’s facilities) and they will give recommendations. Their staff is highly knowledgeable about current restrictions, and they publish some useful flowcharts explaining the quarantine process in Taiwan; follow their Facebook page linked above to see them.

You can also contact and book hotels directly. The government has prepared this website listing all the quarantine hotels by location across Taiwan. Unfortunately, they don’t provide emails or website links.

Two other sites where you can book Taiwan quarantine hotels are AsiaYo and KKDay. Don’t use regular booking sites like Booking dot com, which I normally recommend, for booking your quarantine stay in Taiwan.

If you find the quarantine hotel booking sites difficult to use (or the end results aren’t matching what showed when you originally search), you can always just use these sites to find hotels, then contact the hotels directly to book.

When contacting hotels, many will ask you to use the LINE app (which is universally used in Taiwan) to communicate, fill out necessary forms, etc, so you’ll definitely need to download that.

How Much is a Quarantine Hotel?

Deals on quarantine hotels can run as low as NTD500 per night, but this is not easy to find. 2000+ is the norm. It’s easier to find cheaper ones if you look outside of Taipei.

At the other end, they can easily cost well over NTD5000 per day, meaning you’d be dropping $55,000+ for your stay. For that price, why not book a trip to Hawaii? I recommend booking your quarantine room at least a month in advance.

Recommended Quarantine Hotels

View of a very small quarantine hotel room in Taipei, including bed, desk with computer, and clothes hanging on hooks, with no window on wall.
Example of a low-budget, windowless quarantine hotel room in Taipei (images by 呂凱 Kyle)

The following are quarantine hotels that have come highly recommended by other travelers:

For families: Freedom Design Hotel (富立登國際大飯店), close to airport and offers various items needed for young children, such as cribs and bath tubs at no extra cost.

Another family-friendly option: Amba Songshan, adjoining rooms available

For those who can afford it: Hotel Proverbs, deluxe rooms have balconies, exercise equipment, and more.

Another luxury choice: Miramar Garden Taipei

Another option with balconies and exercise equipment: Chez Nous Da An

Low-budget quarantine hotel in Taipei for solo stay: Meander 1948 (pictured above)

Taichung quarantine hotels: North District L Hotel and Cloud Hotel

Tainan quarantine hotels: Taiwan North District B Hotel (low budget) or Anping District A Hotel (large rooms, windows)

Kaohsiung quarantine hotels: Long Siang Hotel (low budget) or Legend Hotel Pier 2 (colorful rooms with windows)

What’s it Like Staying in a Quarantine Hotel (including the food!)

A mosaic of four meals served in a quarantine hotel in Taiwan
Typical meals served in quarantine hotel (images by 呂凱 Kyle)

Quarantine hotel rooms vary quite a bit. Some are small windowless boxes, while others are luxurious, multi-room suites. The owner/staff may or may not speak English. They may provide you with the LINE address so you can communicate with them throughout your stay. Most provide all the information you need and a detailed list of rules for your stay.

Getting a room with a window is highly recommended for sanity’s sake, especially for those wishing to adjust to the time change after a long flight from around the world. Balconies are rarer in Taiwan, so you’ll have to pay more for a room that has one.

You’ll want to come prepared with ways to pass the time, especially with kids. Consider bringing a yoga mat for exercise and sticking to a regular schedule. Many people have reported that the meal time becomes their favorite, most exciting part of the day. Is this what prison is like?

Some of the most common complaints about quarantine hotels are about the food. I’ve seen a lot of pictures, and the food looks fine to me. It’s mostly Taiwanese, so you can expect sandwiches or steamed buns for breakfast, lots of lunchboxes (a bed of rice with veggies, meats, eggs, tofu, etc. on top), noodles, soups, and the like. Those with dietary restrictions of course should inform the hotel in advance and they will cater to it.

Some people get tired of eating Asian-style food every day, but the biggest issue is that the food comes lukewarm at best, or often cold. Microwaves are rare in Taiwan, so don’t expect one in your room unless it is explicitly stated. Many people say they wish they’d brought in a hot plate, or actually did (this may not technically be allowed). I’ve ever heard of people using things like hair straighteners to warm up their food.

You’re allowed to order food and groceries to your room. The most common delivery services are Food Panda and Uber Eats. Some hotels many only allow you to order at specific times, or they’ll hold it until that time (so it will be cold). Most hotels also allow you to receive packages from friends or family on the outside, but some many check them for prohibited items before giving them to you.

Is alcohol allowed in quarantine hotels?

Most quarantine hotels technically don’t allow alcohol in the quarantine rooms. That means you can’t order liquor in with your groceries, nor can friends drop it off for you. However, some quarantine hotels DO allow it. If you really want to be able to, you can ask hotels about their alcohol policy before booking. I would say there’s a good chance this would be easier to find outside of Taipei.

Having said that, hotels won’t check your luggage when you arrive, so you can take the chance bringing some hard liquor or wine in them.

Note that government quarantine facilities (where you’re sent if you test positive) are stricter, and may actually check your luggage and confiscate prohibited items.

If you’re quarantining at home, you can of course enjoy whatever drinks you want, so long as you know someone nice enough to drop them off for you. You can’t order liquor online.

Applying for a Quarantine Subsidy

When Taiwan first started its mandatory, self-paid hotel quarantine system, the government offered subsidies (around NT1000/day/person) to everyone who underwent it.

Now, however, it’s much more difficult to get one. Only Taiwanese citizens can apply, and they need to demonstrate a very compelling reason they had to leave the country, for example treatment of a life-threatening disease that can’t be done in Taiwan. You also can’t be earning income while in quarantine, among other rules. In other words, don’t hold out any hope for getting one.

Having said that, we recently found out that we actually do qualify because we left Taiwan before COVID started and haven’t been back since. So if you find yourself in this case as well (citizen or ARC holder, left Taiwan before COVID started, coming back and quarantining in a hotel, not earning income while you quarantine), you may be in luck. Also note: if you feel you qualified for the subsidy in the past, you can apply for it up to six months after the quarantine time. In the end, we didn’t get it, because we ended up staying in a friend’s empty apartment instead of a quarantine hotel.

Quarantining at Home

A typical apartment in Taipei, Taiwan
My old apartment in Banqiao, New Taipei City

Ever since mid-March, 2022, people have been allowed to quarantine at their home in Taiwan instead of a quarantine hotel. At first, there was a “one person per residence” rule (exception: travelers with children), but in early April 2022, this was further loosened to “one person per room”. In other words, two people arriving together can quarantine together, as long as they arrived in Taiwan together, or even on different flights but the same day. No one else can be allowed into the house though, including family members who lived there before you arrived.

How to Quarantine at a Residence in Taiwan

If you’d like to quarantine in your apartment in Taiwan, or even that of a friend, the apartment must abide by the following:

  • No one else can be in it during your stay, unless they arrived with you and you are quarantining together.
  • The apartment has to have its own number. For example, there are many illegal top-floor apartments in Taipei. Their number is the same as the apartment below them. These do not qualify.
  • The apartment has to have its own entrance. For example, if you have to walk into someone else’s house/apartment in order to access the staircase to that apartment, it doesn’t qualify.
  • Communal staircase or elevator up to the main door of your apartment (like most residential buildings in Taipei have) are fine.
  • The apartment can be anywhere in Taiwan, but you’ll have to pay the set fee for taxi transportation to get there from the airport where you arrive.
  • There’s nothing else you have to do besides provide the address, and nobody will come to check on it. However, I’ve heard of people being forced to leave their apartment and check into a quarantine facility because of the apartment number issue.
  • Note that the government will track your location during this time using your phone, and leaving your residence (even just stepping outside the door) can incur a huge fine. There have been several cases of people receiving enormous fines for leaving their residence during quarantine; one of them just walked down the hall.

Are Airbnbs Allowed for Quarantine?

In the first few months of Taiwan’s COVID quarantine system, staying in an Airbnb was a popular choice. However, it was never technically allowed. In fact, Airbnbs aren’t even legal in Taiwan. So no, Airbnbs are definitely not allowed for quarantining now, and unlike before, they now actively make sure people aren’t staying in them. Staying in a friend’s of family’s place, however, is fine, as long as those people stay away for the duration of your quarantine, and the apartment complies with all the above-mentioned criteria.

Well, I hope you’ve found answers to all your questions about Taiwan’s travel entry requirements and quarantine system. If you’ve still got questions, please comment below or join my Taiwan Travel Planning group and ask there to get the fastest answer!

25 thoughts on “2022 Guide to Taiwan’s Quarantine Hotels and COVID Travel Restrictions”

  1. If residents returning to Taiwan have had Covid but recovered how many negative tests do they need before flying back please.

    Reply
    • I’ve just found out this information today and updated the article. If you’ve had COVID and recovered for some time, you just need to do your pre-flight test. So long as it’s negative, you’re good to go. If, however, you come up positive on your pre-flight PCR test, you need to wait 10 days, test again, then wait another 24 hours, and do a second re-test. If both re-tests are negative, then you can go. That is the formal rule according to the government site. According to someone who told me she did exactly this (tested positive, then waited 10 days and did the two retests), when she arrived in Taiwan, and tested negative on arrival, they didn’t even ask about whether she’d done these two tests or just the one. So it seems like this rule exists on paper, but may or may not always be checked.

      Reply
  2. Hi Nick,

    Thanks very much for this informative blog. It is very helpful. My daughter is considering taking Mandarin at one of the state approved schools in Kaohsiung. A staff member there seems to be suggesting that she must quarantine there instead of locally in Taipei. Does that seem right? Above you mentioned a taxi fare of 2660 to Kaohsiung. That is NT$, right?

    Reply
    • There are no government rules in Taiwan about where you should quarantine. You are allowed to find a quarantine hotel anywhere in the country, no matter where you plan to go after. Some people go outside Taipei simply because it is cheaper. I’m not sure why the school would want her to quarantine closer…Maybe so they can help her or drop off stuff if necessary. But that’s definitely a school, not government rule. As for the price, yes, 2660 is a set fare in NTD, and it is an extremely cheap/reasonable fare because it is partially subsidized by the government.

      Reply
  3. Hi there,
    Great article, this is the most detailed content I’ve read about the arrival procedures to Taiwan. I have a question about the quarantine system for entry form. I plan on leaving my phone behind for someone else to use. If I do not have a phone with me when I arrive at the Taiwan airport, how can I show them the text with the link? Do you know if there is a workaround for this?

    Reply
    • Good question. I haven’t personally experienced this or talked to someone who has, so I can’t say for sure. I would suggest that you make a printed copy of the final form that you see upon submitting the forms. It is called the “Quarantine System for Entry – Departure Place Declaration Certificate”. Then, when you arrive in Taiwan and purchase a new SIM card, approach one of the officers, tell them that you lost your phone, and show them the printout. They should be able to help you. But if you don’t even have any kind of proof, such as the printed form, it could be problematic, and I can’t say for sure what will happen. Best of luck!

      Reply
  4. Hi Nick!

    Great website – super informative. I am travelling with my 7 month old from Vancouver to Taipei this week. Do you know, with the recent changes, if children who are holding foreign passports (with Taiwan visa) need to take the pre-arrival PCR? The airline advises that they would likely need to but could not confirm. CDC website has no mention of it, either way. Any accident would be appreciated!

    Reply
    • All quarantine hotels provide meals, but you can also order groceries or meals from restaurants using Food Panda or Uber Eats. And yes, all quarantine hotels have free WiFi.

      Reply
  5. Hi Nick, Thank you for your infos. This is definitely the most detailed article about Taiwan entry procedures I’ve read so far.
    My wife and I will be traveling to Taiwan to finalize our international adoption and bring our kid home. Quick question about the quarantine hotel. Are married couples allowed to quarantine in the same hotel room? Or do we have to book two separate rooms? 8 days at the current prices it’s already a lot of money for one room….

    Reply
    • Hi Luca, the rule for this has changed several times so I can’t say 100% for sure what it is right now. I would suggest asking in the “Quarantine Support in Taiwan” Facebook group for people’s recent experiences. You can also try contacting Mr. Host, as they are responsive and familiar with the current rules.

      Reply
  6. Hey Nick,

    Your article is a gold mine, thanks a lot for sharing your experience with Taiwan’s quarantine. I was thinking about taking an Airbnb, but as you explained it’s technically not allowed. Do you have any clue about how the autorities know if your flat is an Airbnb or a long term rented flat ?

    Reply
    • Hey Nicolas, to be honest, I can’t imagine them really putting in the effort to check. But if they did (and they might), most places on Airbnb in Taiwan are listed on other local homestay booking sites, so if the authorities were to do a quick check of the address, it would likely come up. However, in my personal experience, when we tried contacting several Airbnb places last year, none of them were willing to host us for quarantine anyways, so that may be the biggest obstacle. Personally, I wouldn’t chance it.

      Reply
      • Ok thanks for the answer ! I got in touch with an airbnb owner who helped me to find an appropriate flat for quarantine. So this major obstacle that you had wasn’t one for me. I’m still hesitating as my teacher said that foreigners couldn’t stay in private places and HAD to go to a quarantine hotel. Have you heard about this ?

        Reply
        • There is so much misinformation about COVID rules. Even some hotels and people working for the government helpline provide inaccurate information. So don’t listen to your teacher. However, I’ve heard of some schools who want their students or teachers flying in to do a certain thing, so it could be that. There is definitely no rule that foreigners can’t stay in apartments. All that matters is that the apartment meets the guidelines set out by the government.

          Reply
  7. Hello Nick,
    Thank you so much for your excellent article.
    My problem is, I do not find any available Quarantine hotel for August 15th (arrival). I was scared by the political situation and did not book one or two months in advance. Is there a way to claim an emergency situation (I could rent a one room + bathroom apartment in my wife’s village, but its in the 5th floor of a high-rise with 7 more apartments and I guess the house number is the same. The elevator is used by everyone in the building…)?
    I must go back next week, because otherwise I lose my 5 years continuous stay condition to apply for the Permanent ARC…

    Reply
    • Hi Paul, I don’t think there’s any exceptions like that for emergency situation, but to me it sounds like the apartment you described would qualify. The question to ask is, does the apartment have a unique address? Like if somebody sent mail to it, would it only go to that apartment, or do the other apartments on the same floor all share the exact same address? For example, in the past I lived in an apartment above my landlord’s apartment. My apartment was an illegal added-on suite, so when I received mail, it went to my landlord’s apartment and he gave it to me. So for that apartment, it would not be OK. If yours has a unique address, then it should be fine. Shared elevator or stairs for getting up to it is fine, too. Just try not to ride with other people.

      Reply
  8. Hello Nick,

    Like so many others who have posted comments/questions here, I thank you for explaining in detail the current process of obtaining entry into Taiwan (and for your entire website, very useful and fun).

    I’m eligible to receive a visitor’s visa as my son lives in Taiwan and holds an ARC certificate. I’m planning to visit from October through December 2022 and have reserved an Airbnb apartment in Linkou.

    After spending your first four days in a quarantine hotel, you can move to a different place if it meets the “one person per residence rule”. The address of the Linkou apartment begins “17, No. 10, Lane nnn, Section n, xxx Road, Linkou District, New Taipei City 244, Taiwan” etc. so it appears to have a specific address though I’m not sure. If so, would the CECC/CDC regard this apartment as a suitable accommodation for the four-day self-monitoring period and allow me to move?

    You were unsure about this in your article, though perhaps you have come across additional information that would help answer my question.

    Great thanks and happy trails, Russell

    Reply
    • Hey Russell, just to further clarify a few points about the 3+4 days: 1. For the first 3 days (technically 4 nights as day 0 doesn’t count), Airbnbs are not allowed. 2. For those first 4 days, regarding the address, the main point is not that the apartment has an address. It is that this address isn’t shared with another apartment. For example, some landlords in Taiwan who own an apartment will build another apartment (often illegally) on top of it, on what used to be the roof of a building. I used to live in one. It looked like a normal top floor apartment, except that my address was the same as my landlord’s so he never registered mine. So when I got mail, it would go to him, and he would bring it up to me. Another example would be a landlord who takes one normal apartment, and divides it into several apartments. So they all have the same address, but are rented out as if they were individual apartments. These examples of apartments are what the government is referring to as not qualifying. So the important point here is not that said apartment has an address. Everywhere in Taiwan has an address. The important thing is that it has a unique address, as in it is not like the above examples of apartments added illegally or created within a pre-existing apartment. 3. For the 4 days of “self initiated epidemic prevention (note that this is a little different than the old “self health monitoring”, there are no particular rules about the place where you stay. The rules only said that it would be “ideal” if you stayed in the same place, but as you’ve pointed out, you are in fact allowed to move. So to answer your question, from what I’ve heard from people arriving in Taiwan, the CDC does not/will not check the place where you stay for the final four days. In fact, they seldom even check the first place people stay for their actual quarantine. They didn’t for us, but I know they sometimes do. The final four days are basically the honor system. On top of that, the rules about what people are allowed to do in the final four days are quite vague, anyways. In my opinion, you can move to wherever you want for those 4 days, but you should still try to avoid going to crowded public places. 4. Given that you are arriving in October, I wouldn’t be surprised if these rules have changed again by then. If you’re lucky, we’ll be on to a 0+7 day system or something like that. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  9. Thank you so much Nick for your detailed and very helpful reply! I do hope you can re-engage travel into your life and career as the world adjusts to a post pandemic world. Now I’m going to investigate your Taiwan travel planning group.
    Cheers, Russell

    Reply
  10. Hi, Nick! I have a question re: quarantine protocol in TW.
    This is what appears on the booking page of quarantine hotels. I’m looking for a quarantine hotel for 4 days (0 arrival day + 3 days quarantine period) and the remaining self-initiated monitoring will be done at my apartment.
    However, it says that one “must apply to the local government and sign the statement of changing location”.
    Question: How can I acquire this form from the Hsinchu city government (where my apartment & workplace is located) so I can sign it and prepare before my arrival? I will then show this form/slip in the airport and also in the quarantine hotel I suppose, right?
    Thanks,
    Maria

    Reply
    • Hi Maria, first, you won’t need to show this form upon arrival at the airport. Unfortunately I haven’t personally moved from a quarantine facility to my own residence, so I’m not exactly sure what the procedure is. However, I do know that once you arrive in your quarantine location, an English speaking officer will be in touch with you and I would assume will be able to guide you through whatever needs to be done to make the switch. I would suggest posting this question in the “Quarantine Support in Taiwan” group, because there will surely be people in the group who have recently done this and can share their experience. Hope it goes well!

      Reply
  11. Hi Nick

    Thank you x 1,000! This has been an awesome resource for someone (me!) travelling to Taiwan tomorrow.

    What is the status of the old electronic “Arrival Card” for immigration purposes? Has it been superseded by the “Quarantine System for entry” (hdhq.mohw.gov.tw)?

    I went to complete the immigration card online (niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/webacard/) and received an error message in Chinese that “The system is being adjusted and is temporarily closed.”

    Did you complete an Arrival Card online for your recent trip?

    Thanks
    Steve

    Reply
    • Hey Steve, yes, it has been totally replaced with the Quarantine System for Entry, and everyone needs to complete this with 48 hours of arrival in Taiwan.

      Reply

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