The first travel bubble in Asia has officially launched - but it comes with a lot of red tape
Taiwanand Palauhave launched Asia's first travel bubble for quarantine-free travel between the islands.
- Travelers must take a COVID-19 test at the airport before departure and abide by strict rules while visiting the other destination.
- They must
travelin government-approved tour groups, stay in approved hotels, and follow specific itineraries.
Taiwan and Palau launched Asia's first travel bubble for quarantine-free travel last week, CNN reported.Residents can now travel back and forth between the islands without a mandatory quarantine - but they must follow strict rules.
Taiwan's and Palau's tourism boards did not respond to Insider's request for more details on the travel arrangement.
New hope for travel bubblesCountries around the world have attempted different versions of quarantine-free travel bubbles to revitalize their economies in the pandemic, but not all have been successful. In September, a European travel bubble between neighboring Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania was dissolved after three months when Estonia had a new outbreak. In November, Singapore and Hong Kong nearly launched a bubble but postponed the plan at the last minute after cases started to rise in Hong Kong. For months, Singapore has allowed tourists from Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, and Taiwan into the city-state without quarantining, but those places have not reciprocated.
The spring of 2021, however, seems to be bringing a renewed optimism in travel bubbles as vaccinations ramp up in many countries.
Despite the restrictions of the Taiwan-Palau travel corridor, many tourists returning to Taiwan said they were happy with the experience and thrilled to be able to travel after so long, according to Focus Taiwan.On Tuesday, Australia and New Zealand announced they would be launching a travel bubble on April 18. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said the bubble would be "flyer beware," meaning that travelers would take on the risk of getting stranded in another country if a lockdown were to be reimposed.
Singapore is also in talks with Australia about launching a potential travel bubble.
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