TravelPalau-Taiwan travel bubble to reopen 'as soon as practical'

Palau-Taiwan travel bubble to reopen ‘as soon as practical’

-

Koror, Palau: A spike in Covid-19 cases in Taiwan has burst its travel bubble with Palau, but the small Pacific island nation’s president said Saturday he was ready to reopen the link as soon as practical.

The Palau-Taiwan bubble was hailed as a “ray of light” when it opened on April 1 but was closed on Wednesday until at least the middle of June as Taiwan battles a coronavirus outbreak.

Although the two flights a week attracted fewer than 300 tourists from Taiwan in their seven-week existence, Palau President Surangel Whipps maintained it was a success.

“The purpose of the bubble was, of course, to help get our economy get back,” he said.

“I believe it was a success because any tourist, more than one is a success.”

Palau, a nation of about 18,000 people that lies some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) east of the Philippines, is one of the few countries never to have recorded a Covid-19 case, but its economy was hard-hit over the 12 months its borders were closed by the pandemic.

“When they (Taiwan) move up to low risk again, then we go back to a travel, sterile corridor,” Whipps said.

He added opening the border meant there was always the risk of Covid-19 cases, but Palau’s high vaccination rate — covering 93 percent of the adult population — provided enough protection to reopen the border safely.

“We knew that going into it. We don’t know what’s going to happen with Covid tomorrow, we know that there will be a possibility that things will be shut down,” he said.

“Our policy has always been, we open with care. When a country moves from low risk to high risk, then we go to quarantine.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Sacrifice, exile: how Filipina Hidilyn Diaz made Olympic history

Tokyo, Japan: Triumphant weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz will now forget the years of exile, sacrifice, training, and nutrition that took...

World Bank to finance extra Covid jabs for poorer nations

Geneva, Switzerland: A new World Bank financing mechanism will allow developing countries to purchase Covid-19 vaccines collectively through the...

Record-shattering heatwaves caused by pace of warming: study

Paris, France: Heatwaves that obliterate temperature records as in western Canada last month and Siberia last year are caused...

After Covid jab, BioNTech sets sights on malaria vaccine

Frankfurt, Germany: Germany's BioNTech, which developed a coronavirus vaccine with US giant Pfizer in record time, said Monday it...

Greece will start vaccinating 12-15 yr-olds in August

Athens, Greece: Greece will open Covid-19 vaccinations to youngsters aged 12-15 in August, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias told local...

Tunisia president sacks defense minister amid ‘coup’ fears

Tunis, Tunisia: Tunisian President Kais Saied sacked the defense minister Monday, a day after ousting the prime minister and...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you