Taipei, A total of 289 Vietnamese migrant workers who overstayed their visas were repatriated on Monday after being stranded for months in Taiwan due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flight, which was arranged by the Vietnamese government and paid for by the departing migrant workers, left Taiwan for Ho Chi Minh City at around 2 p.m., according to Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA).
The NIA has been unable to repatriate migrant workers since late March when Vietnam canceled all incoming flights to guard against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to crowded detention centers across Taiwan, the agency said.
After the Vietnamese government began to arrange charter flights to bring back its nationals in Taiwan in May, the NIA and the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei urged Vietnamese authorities to do the same for migrant workers who had overstayed their visas in Taiwan, and they eventually agreed to do so.
It took nearly 500 immigration officials and airline personnel to transport the departing workers to Taoyuan International Airport and process their departure, the NIA said.
Before boarding the plane, the workers had their temperatures checked and were outfitted with protective gowns, masks, protective goggles and gloves, which were provided by the Vietnamese government, according to the NIA.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel