Taiwan’s first travel bubble is mainly for Palau medical tourists

Taiwan and the Pacific nation of Palau have a travel bubble without quarantine, mainly to help medical tourists.

The travel bubble allows people to travel between the islands without a COVID-19 quarantine.

The travel bubble is Taiwan’s first as it is still closed to foreign travel. Travellers must be in group tours and must meet certain health conditions but will not have to quarantine.

Travellers must have not been outside the borders of either country in six months, have no history of being asked to quarantine in the last two months and have not been infected with the coronavirus in the last three months. They must take a virus test before leaving Taiwan or Palau, and upon returning and must monitor their health, especially in the first five days upon their return.

Most of the existing tourism from Palau to Taiwan is medical tourism, and Taiwan is a supplier to Palau of virus tests and other medical supplies.

Palau’s territory is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Its most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror and Peleliu. The Republic of Palau is a young country, with a population just under 20,000.

Palau has a universal healthcare system with compulsory state health insurance. Belau National Hospital is the only state hospital and there are no private facilities. For complex or specialist care, locals fly to Taiwan, Hawaii or Manila.