Paperwork and Restrictions
You can't just jump on a plane to Taiwan right now.
Taiwan isn't offering entry to ANY foreign visitors for tourism or family visits at this time. Normally, you'd just book a flight and show up with your passport. Things are a bit different.
My time here falls under 'Cultural Exchange' so I was allowed- with some hoops to go through.
First, you need a Visa- and they're not taking appointments. You have to mail your paperwork in- after you've emailed them scans of all your documents to make sure you have it all in order.
For me, I needed a physical invitation letter mailed to me with signifying stamps from my partners in Taiwan and all sorts of other things- a guarantee letter, their business license, some current photos, declarations that I haven't had a fever lately, my passport, etc. Then they looked it over and I went down to pick it up! Once you have all that, you need to fill out a health declaration form online (that you'll finish filling out on arrival) like the one below- with your hotel name and address, contact at home, where you sat on the flight, etc. On arrival, you'll find that MANY places will need to make use of this- my hotel asked for it, the local police will use it to call you occasionally to ask how you're feeling, the Central Epidemic Control Center will put you on a list to robo-text every day with questions on your health...
Like many countries, they're also requiring a negative COVID test within 3 days before departure. This is a whole other ordeal to work out. There are two kinds of tests...
Cheap, unpredictable, and slow
Precise, fast, and expensive
Many reduced cost tests at places like the local drug store or free municipal sites have uncertain wait times or may run out- and can take up to 72 hours for results. Since I needed a test in a certain time period, I just had to find a local lab and pay a few hundred dollars for an appointment that got my results that same night. I printed it out and headed off to my flight- yeah! You can read about my flight in this post. Upon arrival, of course, there were a few more hurdles to jump over ;-)