Taiwan, Palau open quarantine-free 'travel bubble'

Taiwan and the Pacific island nation of Palau opened a "travel bubble" on Thursday, allowing passengers from both locations to go back and forth without a coronavirus quarantine.

As a prerequisite, travelers to Palau must have been in Taiwan for the past six months. They also must prove they have not been infected with COVID-19 in the past three months.

Before departure, they have to take a PCR test to confirm they do not have the virus.

About 100 people in the first tour group from Taiwan showed up six hours before the departure time on Thursday to undergo the necessary tests.

All the results were negative.

One of the passengers said she is very excited to be part of the first group.

Taiwan's authorities say the quarantine-free travel bubble is the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region since the pandemic started.

Chartered flights will make two round trips a week for the time being.