Seoul [South Korea], July 16 (ANI/Global Economic): Even after imposing social distancing level 4, the number of new COVID-19 confirmed cases in Korea has exceeded 1,600, drawing attention to whether the government will implement the 'Travel bubble' signed with Saipan.
There are greater interests in 'Travel Bubble' with Saipan announced by the government, because it will be a 'revenge consumption' that can explode demands for overseas travel suppressed due to COVID-19.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Marianas Visitors Authority on the 15th, Korea and Mariana signed a Travel Bubble agreement on the 30th of last month to resume overseas travel suspended due to COVID-19. 'Travel bubble' refers to the resumption of international travel of general people without 14-day quarantine between countries where COVID-19 quarantine is trusted.
Under the agreement with Saipan, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is planning to implement Travel Bubble with Saipan at the end of this month or early next month when the summer vacation season begins. It is highly likely to be implemented in the last week of this month.
However, as the number of new confirmed cases in Korea has recently surpassed the largest ever 1,600, and social distancing regulations in the Seoul metropolitan area has increased to level 4 due to the spread of delta variants, there are some predictions that implementation of Travel Bubble with Saipan will be delayed.
It is because there is a circuit breaker clause in the travel bubble agreement between the two countries. 'Circuit Breaker' means that if the COVID-19 situation worsens in either of the two countries, the other one can delay or suspend the implementation of travel bubble.
For example, Singapore and Hong Kong tried to implement the travel bubble at the end of last year, but it was delayed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.
However, a Mariana tourism agency official said in a telephone interview with Newsis, "The Saipan government is also monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Korea, but it will not suspend or delay the travel bubble as the government has already discussed the worst situation.""Saipan is relying heavily on tourism industry, so Saipan wants Travel Bubble with Korea and it is the last hope," the official said. "Saipan is seriously carrying out the Travel Bubble agreement with Korea.""The government signed the agreement after considering the worse situation than Korea's current situation," the official said. "We are confident that Saipan can respond well even if Korea's COVID-19 quarantine system collapses.""We are attracting customers for Travel Bubble through travel agencies," said an official of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Korea. "The Travel Bubble with Saipan is expected to be implemented in last week of this month."With the Travel Bubble, Korean airlines will resume Saipan route from 24th. (ANI/Global Economic)