Taiwan, Palau close to opening travel bubble MOFA and CDC confirm

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) have confirmed that tourism travel will soon be possible between Palau and Taiwan.

Various media outlets are quoting tourism industry sources saying that President Surangel Whipps Jr will visit Taiwan to make the announcement March 15.

MOFA confirmed today, March 7 that it welcomes the President of Palau to visit Taiwan after the launch of the “safe travel circle,” but refused to confirm date for the visit. MOFA will officially announce the date in due course after the relevant planning is completed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also emphasized that since the tourism bubble involves the planning and implementation of various epidemic prevention measures between Taiwan and the two countries, close communication and consultation are required to ensure the smooth implementation of the tourism bubble.

The CECC also made a statement confirming that an announcement will be made soon, saying that a schedule and details of the plan will be released after meetings held over the next two or three days involving “a decisive discussion.”

CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said during today’s regular press briefing that the current preliminary plan is to limit home quarantine to 5 days after returning to Taiwan, then independent health monitoring after a negative PCR test. However, the final decisions and details regarding quarantine requirements are still under discussion, Chuang said.

The development of a travel bubble between Taiwan and Palau has been touted since late last year, as Palau has not had a single case of COVID-19. Delays resulted from a hospital-centered cluster of PCR-positive tests in Taiwan’s Taoyuan County in January.

Travel industry sources widely quoted by Taiwan media outlets are saying that there will be eight return flights per week, once the “sterile corridor” is opened.

Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu visits Palau January, 2021 for the inauguration of Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr.

Cover picture: Palau Bureau of Tourism

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