Palau ready to resume travel bubble program with Taiwan (emissary)

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Taipei, Aug 6 (CNA) Palau is willing to resume its travel bubble program with Taiwan and offer COVID-19 vaccination service to Taiwanese tourists, Palau’s ambassador to Taiwan told CNA on Friday, Dilmei Louisa Olkeriil.

In an email response to CNA’s questions, Olkeriil said his government is currently working with Taiwan to secure approval for medical charter flights and reignite the travel bubble between Taiwan and Palau.

“We demand that the requirements, procedures and protocols for the travel bubble be followed by medical charter flights and travel bubble flights,” said Olkeriil, who on July 27 called Taiwanese Minister of Health Chen. Shih-chung (陳 時 中) to discuss bubble travel and medical referral programs.

Palau continues to be COVID-19 free and 96% of Palauans are vaccinated, Olkeriil said.

Foreigners in Palau can avail themselves of COVOID-19 vaccines in Palau, with a choice of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, she added.

Media in Taiwan said earlier today that the Taiwan-Palau travel bubble program is expected to resume in mid-August, citing tourism authorities in the Pacific island nation.

When asked if the public can expect the travel bubble to resume in the coming days, Olkeriil replied “Yes, if the government of Taiwan approves”.

The Taiwan-Palau travel bubble program was launched on April 1 but came to a halt in mid-May after a sudden increase in national cases of COVID-19 in Taiwan.

Also on Friday, Chen told reporters he was optimistic about the possible relaunch of the travel bubble and pledged to review relevant proposals as soon as his ministry receives them.

In a separate statement, Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐 江 安) said the ministry discussed the travel bubble issue with the Tourism Board and stakeholders on July 26. ‘industry.

The case is still being investigated by relevant government agencies, but the Taiwanese government hopes to resume tourism with Palau in accordance with the two countries’ COVID-19 prevention regulations, Ou said.

Meanwhile, Yu Kuo-chen (游 國 珍), general manager of Lion Travel in Taiwan, said the cost of a five-day tour package is estimated at NT $ 70,000 (US $ 2,500) while the tours self-guided tours cost around NT $ 40,000.

KKday, an e-commerce travel platform, said its four-day self-guided tour costs around NT $ 35,000, with other promotions.

The first day of departure from Taiwan to Palau is August 14, according to the websites of the two travel agencies.

(By Chung Yu-chen, Chang Ming-hsuan, Chiang Hui-chun, Yu Hsiao-han and Emerson Lim)

Final element / AW


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