Traveling during Covid-19

News.

More towards Lunar New Year.

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Taiwan has set out plans to implement the “COVID-19 vaccine passport” that will pave the way for the country to open up its borders.

Health Minister and head of the Central Epidemic Command Center Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said in a legislative interpellation on Monday (Oct. 25) the proposed scheme will recognize vaccines authorized for emergency use by Taiwan and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Currently, Taiwan has validated the use of AstraZeneca (AZ), Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT), and homegrown Medigen jabs. Those approved by WHO include AZ, Moderna, BNT, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

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Some bizarre stuff in that article.

“Should definitive evidence suggest a specific vaccine lacks the ability to effectively inoculate, that brand would be omitted from Taiwan’s system, he added.”

Since none of them appear to even meet the (original) FDA threshold for effectiveness at this point, the government should theoretically be deleting all brands from the ‘approved’ list.

“In related news, recent clinical studies suggest that the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) vaccine on children between the ages of 5-11 could be as high as 90.7 percent.”

Since the chance of kids in that age range suffering any kind of moderate-to-severe consequences from COVID-19 is vanishingly small in the first place, I’m wondering how they even computed this figure (to three significant figures!). It implies that they recruited several million children into a vaccination test, and AFAIK no vaccine manufacturer has done that.

I’m guessing they simply redefined the accepted meaning of the word ‘efficacy’ to refer instead to the detection of virus on a PCR test.

I didn’t read it that carefully. I scanned it and came away thinking that the government here is feeling pressure to open borders, and that it will probably happen sooner than most think. My thinking and reading didn’t go any further than that.

I think they’re under pressure to comply with the Vaccine Passport agenda.

The vast majority of world governments that have gone down the path of “controlling” COVID have backed themselves into a corner from which there is no face-saving escape. I would be surprised if Taiwan fares any better.

Good news for @the_bear and other assorted folks who like travelling to Thailand.

Guy

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Yeah. I’m thinking CNY if kiwiland doesn’t let me in. But of course we need the quarantine waiver coming back.

Some small changes have been announced. But I’d be frankly surprised if all quarantine in Taiwan is waived by then . . . :neutral_face:

Guy

Thailand here I come. If you’ll accept me coming from Taiwan meeting all the requirements except having a Taiwan passport.

“According to the Thai government’s plan, international tourists from the countries on the list must have been fully vaccinated for 14 days and stayed in their respective countries for 21 days, and they must also show proof of a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before their arrival”

More research needed.

No we good brah. You just need proof of residence.

I’m thinking direct flight to Phuket.

Wonder about the alcohol situation in Thailand now

I guess bars are maybe still closed but how about buying at convenience store and take home.

Saw this today

"There is no word on if tourist pilot areas like Banglamung/Pattaya will be allowed to legally sell alcohol in restaurants or otherwise as of Monday. If this changes we will let you know. For now, red zone rules apply from Monday which still includes alcohol bans at venues like restaurants and closure of bars and entertainment venues. On the bright side, tonight is the last night of curfew from 11PM to 3AM.

Additionally, the Bangkok Governor has yet to authorize alcohol from Monday as well, although the CCSA said they would allow it. They held a long meeting yesterday and no decisions have been announced. It needs governor approval to be allowed."

Thailand is popular with the young ones for graduation trips. If the travel agencies are allowed to make groups again… stampede!

Same as when they open up Japan. Oh, how I long for the sardine feeling of lining up for the first flights out of Songshan or Taoyuan to Tokyo or Osaka. I got a picture somewhere of customs and immigration that looks like New Year crowds going into the mrt after Taipei 101 fireworks. Sigh.

One thing I am sure though. Gone are the days of the 5000 NTD tickets to Tokyo. :sob:

Changes coming for travellers to Japan effective Monday November 8. Here’s a report from Nikkei Asia:

Japan to reopen borders starting Monday

Businesspeople, students, technical trainees to be allowed in, but not tourists

Narita Airport near Tokyo. About 370,000 foreigners desiring to come to Japan, about 70% of them technical interns and foreign students, will gradually be allowed to enter.

Summary

Nikkei staff writers
November 5, 2021 16:39 JST

TOKYO – The Japanese government announced on Friday that it will reopen its borders for business people and students, starting on Monday, although restrictions on overseas tourist arrivals will remain in place for now.

The country will lift the entry ban for business people, students and technical trainees. For business people who are fully vaccinated, the mandatory self-isolation period will be cut to a minimum three days.

As many as 370,000 people are waiting to enter the country. They have already been issued entry visas, but have been barred from entering the country. Of the total, 150,000 are students and 110,000 are technical trainees.

Once the restrictions are lifted, these people will be allowed in gradually. The government expects the number of business people traveling to Japan to increase as a result of the new measures.

The easing measures are conditional upon the receiving organizations taking steps to make sure the visitors follow the protocol for infection prevention. The organizations include businesses and universities.

They are required to submit implementation plans to relevant regulators, such as the industry, education or farm ministries.

Currently even those who have been vaccinated are required to stay at home for 10 days after entering Japan. Shortening the period to three days is expected to boost business activity.

In January, the government tightened restrictions on entry into Japan in response to the appearance of COVID-19 variants. It banned all new arrivals, other than those with “special circumstances.”

Tourists are not covered under the relaxed rules. The government will assess the effectiveness of the measures within the year and consider whether to expand the scope of the relaxation in stages, while monitoring the status of the outbreak.

Toshihiro Nagahama, chief economist at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, estimates that the easing will boost gross domestic product by about 830 billion yen ($7.3 billion) per year, spurred by more people entering Japan and spending.

Guy

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From December 1, Australia is re-opening to most Visa Holders, and to Tourists from Japan and South Korea (already open to Tourists from NZ and Singapore).

Which states are Q free?

For International Arrivals - NSW and Victoria, I think ACT also from 1 December. You could go to to NZ via Sydney or Melbourne, but I suspect that NZ will let you in Q free only if you have been in those Australian States for the past 14 days. Academic I know, even if you can there is the “little matter” of getting back into Taiwan.

NZ won’t let me in at all. I can live in Sydney though for a bit. I got people there.

That’s nuts.

Guy

Especially since I’m in a virus free country wanting to fly into a country in the midst of a mild outbreak.

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I have always assumed that you were a Passport Carrying Kiwi - is that not the case?