Taiwan welcomes travel bubble with Palau, President Whipps’ visit
Taiwan welcomes the upcoming launch of a travel bubble with Palau and the planned visit of the Western Pacific ally’s President Surangel Whipps Jr., according to the Presidential Office March 17.
The arrangement, which is set to take effect April 1, underscores Taiwan’s success in managing COVID-19 and offers a cross-border cooperation model for disease control, the PO said. President Tsai Ing-wen expressed appreciation to ministries and agencies involved and said she anticipates the two sides will soon resume normal exchanges, revitalizing the tourism industry and enhancing the two-way ties, the PO added.
According to the Central Epidemic Command Center, the plan will ensure the safety and health of the Palau people by requiring Taiwan visitors to follow certain principles. These include capping itineraries at eight days and taking special disinfected vehicles; dining in designated areas and staying in hotels approved by local health authorities; observing social distancing, and traveling only in tour groups.
Prior to departure, tourists must present documents proving they have not left Taiwan within the past six months or undergone quarantine or self-health management within the past two months. They must additionally show they have not been infected with COVID-19 within the past three months and obtain a negative PCR test result at the airport.
Upon their return to Taiwan, passengers will follow enhanced self-health management, which involves remaining isolated from family members, for the first five days. They must then take a PCR test on the fifth day before practicing regular self-health management until the 14th day after entry.
For inbound tour groups from Palau, a negative PCR test result within three days before departure is required, the CECC added.
The CECC said two flights between Taiwan and Palau will operate weekly at first. The number of passengers on each flight will be limited to 110 with a maximum of 220 per week, the center added.
Following the announcement, Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu took the opportunity to welcome Palau President Whipps’ plans to visit Taiwan March 28-April 1. It will not only be Whipps’ first trip abroad after taking office in January but the first time a diplomatic ally’s head of state has visited Taiwan since the start of the pandemic, Wu said, adding that it demonstrates the deep friendship between the two sides.
Taiwan and Palau celebrated 20 years of diplomatic relations in 2019. They share a rich Austronesian heritage and are working together to advance peace, stability and sustainable development across the Indo-Pacific.
Source: Taiwan Today (https://taiwantoday.tw/index.php)