Passport applications have nearly doubled since the release of a new design in January, with more than 90,000 applications received since then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The ministry on Jan. 11 released a new passport design that removed the English-language words “Republic of China” from the cover — but retained the Chinese-language equivalent — and featured the word “Taiwan” more prominently.
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19 last year, which restricted international travel, the number of passport applications dropped to about 800 per day, but that number has grown to an average of 1,354 per day since the ministry began issuing the new passport, it said.
Photo: Wang Chun-chi, Taipei Times
The increase was evidence of public support for the new design, and showed that people are already making preparations for when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, it said.
“As you can guess, there is going to be an explosion of demand for overseas travel when the pandemic is over,” Bureau of Consular Affairs Deputy Director Chou Chung-hsing (周中興) said.
“My advice is for people to take advantage of the current lull to get their passports early and avoid the crowds later on,” he added.
The bureau has received 93,420 applications for the new passports, he said, adding that there had been an average of only 794 applications per day between March and December last year.
Prior to the pandemic, the bureau saw an average of more than 7,000 applications per day, he said.
HIGH-RISK GROUP: After the latest outbreak, family members of workers exposed to infection would from tomorrow be eligible for government-funded vaccines The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four local COVID-19 cases: three family members of an infected worker at a quarantine hotel and a family member of an infected pilot. The new cases bring the number of infections involving China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) pilots and the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, where many of the airline’s crew members quarantined, to 24. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said three of them are the husband, son and daughter of case No. 1,129, a woman in her 60s, who works at the hotel. The son is in
NEXT STEP? The contract chipmaker said it would decide whether to add more plants based on operation efficiency, cost economics and demand Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan. Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up
VIRUS CURBS: Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan is banned until May 17, the CECC announced The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday banned visits to patients or residents at healthcare and long-term care facilities in three cities until May 17. It also reported six imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases with unclear infection sources. As the number of locally transmitted cases rises, some of whom have visited many places in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, enhanced disease prevention measures have to be implemented in the three cities, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and
UP TO TWO DAYS: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said that most who got the shot and felt discomfort only felt ill for the first two days Employees can ask for unpaid COVID-19 vaccination leave, from the day of their shot until the end of the next day, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, adding that the policy takes effect immediately. “The policy of unpaid COVID-19 vaccination leave will be implemented starting on May 5, and all workers and civil servants will be eligible,” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news conference. Leave can be taken on the day of vaccination and if recipients feel discomfort after getting the shot, they can extend the leave to all of the