Taiwan ponders travel bubble with Singapore

Taiwan’s health minister said the island is exploring a travel bubble with Singapore, a day after announcing its first travel bubble with Palau.

Last December, Singapore unilaterally lifted border restrictions on travellers from Taiwan, allowing them to be exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine if they test negative for Covid-19 upon arrival.

Taiwan, Singapore in talks for travel bubble; people strolling along Ximending in Taipei pictured

According to a report in The Straits Times, Taiwanese health minister Chen Shih-chung said on Thursday (March 18) that Taiwan and Singapore have been in talks for the former to match Singapore’s unilateral move.

The report also quoted transportation minister Lin Chia-lung as having said that while Japan, South Korea and Vietnam are all exploring a travel bubble with Taiwan, “Singapore is by far the most proactive”.

Over a year after closing its borders to tourists to guard against Covid-19, Taiwan announced on Wednesday that it will launch its first travel bubble with Palau from April 1.

The plan will kick off with two weekly flights, capped at 110 passengers per flight. Tourists from both sides must travel within a tour group, following a pre-approved itinerary and staying at designated hotels.

Since the outbreak, Palau has reported zero Covid-19 cases, while Taiwan has recorded 990 cases and 10 deaths.