The Public Health Directive 13-21, goes into effect on May 22, 2021. It spells out public health measures required for any passenger planning to come to Palau during this period of medical emergency.
Although directive removes quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers, it is not as easy as walking to an airline counter, showing a vaccination card and purchasing a ticket.
Anyone wanting to travel to Palau must obtain a Palau Quarantine Certificate. To do so, a person must get registered and approved by Palau government before his/her name can be forwarded to airlines. If one’s name is not on the approved list with United Airlines for example, one cannot purchase a ticket to Palau.
There is also a list of priorities to be considered. For example, returning stranded citizens and residents are first priority. Second Priority are Essential Workers, temporary workers needed urgently for ongoing projects. Third priority are non-citizen spouses or partners of citizens, fourth are business travelers and fifth are tourists.
First flight from Guam this May 30 have over 100 Palauan applicants and there are still pending requests, according to Olkeriil Kazuo, Quarantine Certification Coordinator.
In other words, there’s a line and a long list of travelers and therefore, interested travelers are urged to register with Palau government.
To get on the next flights from Guam to Palau, a traveler must first go online to PalauGov.pw under COVID-19 Pandemic Entry Requirements and follow the seven (7) steps in order to obtain an official Quarantine Certificate required before purchasing an airline ticket.
The following are the steps listed on the site for travelers. Without a filled application, it will be difficult for the staff to answer specific questions a person may have so it is highly encouraged that people fill the initial application form to start the process.
STEP 1: Complete Quarantine Certificate application form
STEP 2: Email completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org
STEP 3: Receive pre-approval email.
STEP 4: Take PCR test w/in 72 hours of departure date
STEP 5: Submit PCR test result (must be negative) to email@example.com
STEP 6: Receive approval. Official Quarantine Certificate with Minister of Finance signature.
STEP 7: Show approved issued Quarantine Certificate with Minister of Finance signature to airline officials before boarding the plane.
The Public Health Directive 13-21 allows for fully vaccinated travelers from High Risk COVID areas to enter Palau without having to be quarantined. They are required to take a PCR test and show negative result 72 hours prior to departure. They will be under Restriction of Movement for seven (7) days, meaning restricting their travel to only necessity while observing all health safety practices.
Fully vaccinated adults with unvaccinated minors are allowed to come in without having to go into quarantine but all including the minors must undergo required testing.
Unvaccinated travelers need to go through a Low Risk area, be quarantined at the Low Risk area for 14 days before traveling through to Palau. These too must apply to the government, in order to get a visa to Taiwan. Again, they must go to PalauGov.pw site to obtain forms and instructions.
Palau is still COVID-free with 74% of the total adult population fully vaccinated and is on track to reach herd immunity by reaching 80% vaccination rate this month.
Despite the high vaccination rate, Palau continues to exercise caution while opening its borders, seeking to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus entering the country.
Erratum: Island Times erroneously stated on its May 11, 2021 issue Vo.16/54, that the new Public Health Directive 13-21 takes effect on May 6. It goes into effect May 22, 2021.