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Taiwan-Palau Travel Bubble: Five COVID-19 Prevention Principles (c3/2)

The Central Epidemic Command Center announced the opening of the Taiwan-Palau travel bubble. Both Taiwan and Palau hope this program will revitalize tourism and economic activities in the two countries while taking into account safety measures to minimize the risk of infection and transmission. To lower the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission, and to ensure the safety of the travel bubble, all itineraries should abide by the following COVID-19 prevention principles:
1. Travelers must stay with their tour groups at all times. Personal excursions are not allowed.
2. The itinerary is based on the principle of avoiding crowds and demarking areas that are separate from local residents, and appropriate lodging and travel routes must be selected in advance.
3. Fixed transportation hubs will be adopted throughout the whole process, and vehicles transporting tourists should be cleaned and disinfected daily.
4. Travelers can only stay in hotels that have obtained the "safety and epidemic prevention certificate" approved by the local health department in Palau.
5. Restaurants must have designated dining areas and appropriate distribution of customers, with properly planned entry and exit paths and seating arrangements to maintain appropriate social distancing.

The CECC stated, travelers eligible for the travel bubble should not have history of international travel within the past 6 months; No quarantine or home isolation within the past 2 months; And no record of coronavirus infection within the past 3 months. Furthermore, prior to departure, travelers must also cooperate with airport staff in taking a polymerase chain reaction (PRC) test and generating a report verifying that the test results are negative. After completing the trip, tourists do not need to take a PCR test prior to returning to Taiwan from Palau. After returning to Taiwan, they are exempt from undergoing the standard quarantine. Instead, they must implement strengthened self-health monitoring for five days. If a self-financed coronavirus test is negative on the fifth day, people can switch to standard self-health monitoring until the 14th day after entry.

The CECC pointed out that during the period of "strengthened" self-health monitoring, returnees should conform to the principle of one person per room, including living spaces and bathrooms, with the exception of those who traveled together. Those living together should take appropriate protective measures, including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and not eating together. If a returning traveler does not show any symptoms, they can venture out, but they can only engage in fixed and limited activities and cannot take public transportation. They are forbidden from going to crowded places. A real-name identification system will be used, and daily activities and contacts must be recorded. No contact with unfamiliar persons is allowed. In addition, returning travelers should wear masks and maintain social distancing whenever stepping out and observe the general self-health monitoring guidelines for 14 days after entry.