Palau ‘travel bubble’ plan could be postponed: CECC president | Instant News

Taipei, October 24 (CNA) Chen Shih-chung (陳 時 中), chief of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said on Saturday that a plan to create a travel bubble between Taiwan and Palau could be postponed due to of the Pacific ally. The decision not to relax quarantine rules for Taiwanese travelers Chen, who is also Taiwan’s health minister, said Palau recently made the decision based on the nation’s limited medical care capacity Pacific Islander, adding that, therefore, Taiwanese visitors will continue to submit He said the Taiwan Ministry of Transport and Communications and related agencies are ready for opening, but the medical care sector in Palau fears that if the situation gets out of control after opening, its limited resources will not be able to handle an outbreak. The two countries were in talks about the possibility of forming a so-called “travel bubble” to jumpstart their tourism industry amid COVID-19 by allowing either side to open its border for their citizens to travel from. on the other side in groups of tourists, rather than as independent travelers.As populations on both sides are considered to be at very low risk in terms of COVID-19, it was considered safe to do so under With the planned travel bubble, travelers are expected to present negative PCR test results to show they do not have COVID-19 before being allowed to join a travel group, according to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. no need to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals to Taiwan, and Taiwanese visitors to Palau would not have to submit to the current seven-day quarantine, according to the proposed plan. However, Chen, who Speaking on the sidelines of The World Health Forum 2020 in Taiwan, said that it would be difficult at the moment to implement the “travel bubble” plan. Second, Palau’s medical staff remained concerned about the possible negative impact of the “travel bubble” program and the country needed more time to consider whether it should open up to Taiwanese tourists. only one hospital in Palau and it lacks the capacity to treat patients in critical and emergency conditions, according to Taipei-based Shin-Kong Wu Ho. -Su Memorial Hospital, which has an agreement with the Pacific nation since 2008 to send critically urgent patients to Taiwan for treatment. Palau had already relaxed the rules for Taiwanese visitors because Taiwan is considered low risk. Travelers from high-risk countries and moderate-risk groups, however, must go through a 14-day self-health management period, then test negative for the virus before leaving for Palau, and after arriving in the country. countries in the Pacific, they must pass two to three tests to confirm that they are free from COVID-19 and that only then are they allowed to enter the country, Chen said. Palau as low risk and has given visitors to the country the option to request a shortened seven-day quarantine period if they can show test results indicating they are COVID-19 free. Second, because Taiwan considered Palau a low-risk country and the two had formal diplomatic relations, it wanted the ally to be the first in its “travel bubble” program to facilitate the opening of borders. on both sides at a time when the global travel industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Then Taiwan will begin talks with other countries on a possible “travel bubble” program, but will carefully study the situation in those countries before pushing for such an opening. (By Chang Ming-hsuan and Frances Huang) Enditem / cs

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