On 8th September, border restrictions were lifted unilaterally to visitors from Brunei and New Zealand.
In about a week, Australia and Vietnam will be added to the list.
Countries in the Clear
As reported by The Straits Times, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said that Australia and Vietnam have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and are successful in controlling the spread of the virus, hence “the risk of importation from these countries is low”.
The authorities also noted that in the last month, Vietnam reported no local Covid-19 cases while Australia, barring Victoria state, had a virus incidence rate of 0.02 cases per 100,000 people.
Procedures for Entry
From 8th October, visitors from Australia (excluding Victoria) and Vietnam only need to apply for the Air Travel Pass for entry into Singapore.
They will be allowed to partake in any form of short-term travel, including leisure travel, under this Air Travel Pass scheme.
These are for essential or official travel, usually to facilitate business.
Still Need To Be Isolated For A Bit
Upon arrival, visitors need to take a swab test.
Only after receiving a (negative) result will they be allowed to go about their activities on the condition that they use the TraceTogether app while they are in Singapore, and only delete it 14 days after they have left the country.
As for returning Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders from Australia (excluding Victoria) and Vietnam, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said they will also be able to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival.
This is a change from the current procedure of a seven-day stay-home notice with a swab test within that timeframe.
On the other hand, Australia currently bans all overseas travel and disallows foreigners from entering, and Vietnam has suspended entry of foreigners and returning citizens via commercial flights, only approving people on a case-by-case basis.
Whether this will be a one-side love story (again) or not, depends entirely on them.
The opening of Singapore’s borders to Brunei and New Zealand last month was an attempt to revive Changi Airport, which is an important part of Singapore’s economy in both gross domestic product (GDP) contribution (above 5 per cent) and a source of employment for 192,000 people pre-Covid.
This was also an invitation to the world that Singapore is open for business, according to Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
“The aviation sector, Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines do not just concern the sector itself, but are linked to the whole economy,” he said.
“So we need to really start to take steps to open up in a safe manner that can revive Changi Airport and resuscitate the aviation sector.”