Located just 81 miles off the coast of Mainland China, according to an IEEE Spectrum article, Taiwan was originally predicted to have the second-highest risk of a COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of the pandemic. To date, Taiwan has only seen 440 total cases and seven deaths and is touted by many as having won the fight against the virus. How did they do it?
The country employed the emergency implementation of big data and new technologies to mitigate the spread, putting the emergency epidemic response plan it developed after the 2003 SARS outbreak in place on Jan. 20, 2020. From the beginning, Taiwan kept detailed mapping of who got COVID-19 from who, and used its National Health Insurance Database to track 14-day travel histories and symptoms. This information was shared with hospitals, clinics and pharmacies.
Taiwan also restricted entry to those from the most-affected regions, and tracked those allowed into the country with mobile technology. Foreigners were required to scan a QR code and submit a health declaration form complete with contact information. Those placed in quarantine were issued government phones and monitored through calls and visits.
Households were grouped into wards, and a ward chief was designated to check in on those in quarantine, also with a mind toward kindness so citizens and travelers were more likely to disclose, rather than hide, symptoms and issues.
Steep penalties were introduced to those who ignored quarantine guidelines — one couple was fined $10,000 for ignoring a 14-day quarantine order. Taiwan also deployed soldiers to mask factories, set price limits and rationed supplies. Technology helped estimate a region’s supplies.
According to The Washington Post, Taiwan’s 24 million inhabitants continue to live life more normally than most of us — no lockdowns have been instituted, schools and more are open and people fill the bustling streets. While the country has won praise for its response, it continues to wait for its seat at the World Health Organization’s table. Currently sidelined from the organization at the urging of China, the United States and European allies continue to lead the call for Taiwan’s inclusion.
The small colonial town of Valladolid in the center of the Yucatan peninsula is easy to see in a day or two, but when you’re not roaming the streets, snapping photos of the brightly colored houses and buildings, swimming in the nearby cenote or admiring the architecture of the 16th-century convent of San Bernardino de Siena, consider passing time in the multipurpose Hostería del Marqués, a hotel that offers more than just lodging.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Munich Airport is prepared for increased air traffic and passenger numbers with an extensive package of measures to protect against infection. The new rules of conduct will be made known through regular announcements, posters, video screens and an increased staff presence. Cleaning frequency will also increase and in areas where passengers linger. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout the airport and passengers and employees will be required to wear masks.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced a collaboration with John Hopkins Medicine International on its Lead With Care global health and safety program. John Hopkins Medicine experts will review and validate the Lead With Care program, which will then be implemented at Four Seasons properties around the world.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Saint Lucia announced a phased plan to reopen island tourism responsibly, beginning June 4. Phase One includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport from the United States only. In preparation, 1,500 hotel rooms are being prepared to open. The approach to reopening continues through July 31.
IN THE BACKGROUND, the dusky blue-black ice of the Svartisen Glacier glimmers in a thick wedge of still-frozen slopes above the Arctic Circle. Below, vertical shapes springing from a Norwegian forest provide a living, evergreen contrast to the deep waters stroking the shores of the Holandsfjorden fjord. Rising from the depths, its feet thrust securely into the fjord’s bed, are the wooden legs and underpinnings of Svart. This epic structure, circular and serene in design, is the world’s first Powerhouse hotel constructed in a northern climate, set to open in 2021.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
HIKING ALONG A PATH THROUGH THE FOREST, the only sounds I heard were the wind rustling through the leaves, the flow of a distant waterfall and, from time to time, the soft sounds of chatter from the others in my group. Missing were the sounds of traffic rushing by, car horns and the din of the everyday world in which most of us live. On this part of the Japan Hiking – Kumano Kodo & Nakasendo trip with REI Adventures, just the eight of us were on the trail, not another human in sight. An eco-adventure at its best, and it was glorious.