Taiwan to Launch Travel Bubble with Palau

Taiwan will open its first travel bubble next month with Palau amid the COVID-19 pandemic, their governments announced on March 17.

After keeping its borders largely shut due to the pandemic, Taiwan will allow tourists to travel to and from the tiny Pacific nation in April with two weekly flights carrying 110 passengers each.

According to a statement from Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), travelers need to present a negative COVID-19 test result “issued within three days prior to departure.”

“Only travelers who have a negative test result are allowed to continue their departure procedure,” CECC stated.

CECC also said that travelers should have no history of international travel in the last six months, should not have been required to undergo quarantine in the last two months, and should have not contracted the virus in the last three months.

CECC also outlined principles of disease prevention for the travel bubble, including traveling only in groups, following distancing measures, and visiting only designated sites and hotels.

The duration of the trip cannot exceed eight days, which already includes the day of arrival and the day of departure, CECC said.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu described the initiative as a demonstration of “firm friendship” between the two countries.

CECC Head Chen Shih-chung said at a press conference that he hoped the travel bubble will revive the tourism and economy of the two countries while applying the health measures to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Palau President Surangel Whipps, Jr. will visit Taiwan ahead of the first scheduled flight of the travel bubble, which Wu described as a “significant trip.”

Taiwan has largely kept the virus under control with early and effective health measures, recording a total of 990 cases since the pandemic began.

Palau has recorded zero cases.

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