How Czech Republic, Israel, and Taiwan are preparing for travelers

They can’t wait to have Filipino travelers visiting again

Jana Sedivá (The Czech Republic); Jemy See (Taiwan); and Uri Avrouskine (Israel)

Covid 19 is such an overused word. Every day, we wake up with hope and prayers that it will be a different story, that we can have a break from it all. We are getting really anxious as to when we can finally go out carefree, without worries. 

The global travel and tourism industry has been in a standstill longer than expected. Still, countless groups and associations have provided their members with multiple webinars and master classes to prepare for potential business opportunities and possibilities. This how we are trying to find the way to recovery somehow. 

While we adapt to this new way of living, we continue to plan future activities, like traveling again. There is a glimmer of hope as we watch many countries now gradually opening their borders to receive international guests with gamechanging mindsets and practices. 

We gather some tourism personalities to share their thoughts about travel and tourism beyond the pandemic.

Jana Šedivá

The Czech Republic, one of the most popular countries in the world for tourists, is getting ready for new visitors. There are hardly any restriction in place in the Czechia—restaurants are open, cultural events can happen up to 500 people, public transportation is back in operation.   

Even during the strictest quarantine, the Czech Republic has been allowing foreigners, including Filipinos, with valid long-term visas to return. 

Our country is now also slowly opening to tourists. While there are no entry restrictions for visitors from low-risk and medium-risk European Union (EU) countries, nationals arriving from high-risk EU countries have to submit negative COVID-19 test results upon arrival or go into quarantine. 

Travelling for tourism purposes from outside the EU has not yet been addressed by the government. This will be a joint decision with EU. 

Easing travel restrictions with other continents will depend on the epidemiological situation in Czechia and around the world. I hope that our Filipino friends will soon be allowed to visit their most popular places in Czechia—Santo Niňo de Praga, Jose Rizal partner city of Litoměřice, or Český Krumlov. —Jana Šedivá, Czech Ambassador to the Philippines

Jemy See

Taiwan’s success in controlling the spread of the Coronavirus infection is due mainly to its early preparations and having systems that work, with all government agencies following the guidelines of the Department of Health and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). There is a daily press conference to update all citizens. All are very clear, no confusion, no disagreements, no contradictions. Hence, well-informed citizens follow the guidelines.

As Taiwan extends its streak of zero local coronavirus cases to 66 days, CECC has announced the conditions under which business travelers from countries considered low and medium risk can visit Taiwan under its special five-day quarantine policy.

Since June 22, business travelers have been able to visit Taiwan, subject only to the five-day quarantine and provided that the CECC has given the visitor permission; that the visitor’s intended length of stay is less than three months; that the reason for visit is short-term, such as for activities like inspecting goods, after-sales service, technical guidance and training, and signing of contracts; that the visitor’s origin country or region is deemed low to medium risk; and that the visitor has no travel history from other countries/regions over the 14 days before boarding the flight to Taiwan. Business travelers also must take a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19 within three days before departure and present the certified negative results upon arrival. —Jemy See, former Philippine tourism representative in Taiwan, former president, ANTOR (Association of National Tourism Office Representatives in Taiwan)

Uri Avrouskine

Our government has taken responsible action to encourage physical distancing, wearing of face masks and other practical measures. This has resulted in a decrease in new cases of the virus and a positive outlook.

The Israeli government has appointed a new Covid-19 crisis manager, Professor Ronni Gamzu, who is skillfully working to end the pandemic. His plan emphasizes public discipline with minimum restrictions on civil life, as well as initiatives to restore the economy. In addition, the Ministry of Transportation has published a preliminary plan outlining the gradual resumption of international air traffic, in which travelers entering Israel from “green countries” will not be required to quarantine.

Throughout August, more flights and destinations are expected to become available for Israelis, signaling increased activity at the airport and the future of tourist entry into Israel. 

It is expected that all visitors to Israel will need to take a Covid-19 test three days prior to their departure, as well as a 30-minute test upon arrival to Israel.

Many hotels in Israel have already reopened, operating in accordance with government regulations, including improved hygiene and occupancy rate restrictions. Establishments that receive higher percentages of foreign tourist clientele plan to reopen throughout the month of August. With this positive turn of events, we would like to encourage you to contact your Sar-El Tour Operator to inquire about preferred hotel availability for your future groups.

When you come to Israel on tour, which should be very soon, you will notice that we have installed state-of-the-art air filters from Aura Air on all our Sar-El buses. This device, already tested in a major Israeli hospital, has proven to kill the Covid-19 virus, as well as rigorously purify and filter the air.  —Uri Avrouskine, general manager, Sar-El Tours & Conferences