Taiwan-Palau travel bubble to open on 1 April

18 March, 2021

Courtesy of ICRT

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says a much-anticipated travel bubble between Taiwan and Palau will open on 1 April, becoming the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, to take advantage of the programme, visitors must travel with their tour groups throughout their entire stay in Palau, while their itineraries will be capped at eight days.

Tourists will only be able to stay in hotels that adhere to coronavirus control measures approved by health authorities in Palau, will only be able to dine in specific areas and will have to maintain social distancing during their meals.

On returning to Taiwan, travellers will not need to have another PCR test, as is required for other inbound tourists.

However, they will need to practice “enhanced” self-health management for the first five days, remain isolated from family members except for those they travelled with and will not be allowed to use public transport or visit crowded places.

Deputy Transport Minister Qi Wen-chong says two round-trip flights will be offered per week initially via China Airlines, but the number of passengers will be capped at 110 per flight.

Health minister Chen Shih-chung said that the travel bubble could be expanded in the future to include other countries, though he noted that very few are as safe from the pandemic as Palau. He added that if other countries are added, travellers from there may be subject to different quarantine and inspection procedures than in the Palau bubble.

In related news, The CECC is planning to establish a ‘sports bubble’ for an upcoming Olympic qualifier event in Taiwan.

The final round of a baseball qualifying tournament will be held in Taiwan in June, with six national teams taking part.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says athletes from other countries will have to abide by some restrictions and those details are still being worked out.

However, Chen says there will be no restrictions on local spectators at these events.

So far, Taiwan, China, Australia, and the Netherlands are set to take part in the tourney, with the final two participants to be decided in the previous rounds.

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