Singapore expects to slowly reopen its borders — and ease travel restrictions — in September, as a majority of the population are fully vaccinated.
Speaking in parliament on 26 July, finance minister Lawrence Wong says Singapore will also explore “establishing travel corridors with countries or regions that have managed Covid-19 well, and where the infection is similarly under control”. He did not specify countries or regions.
Singapore’s twice-delayed air travel bubble with Hong Kong remains in limbo, with both cities agreeing to relook at the arrangement in August. Other countries previously floated for possible quarantine-free travel include Australia, itself battling a resurgence in coronavirus infections.
For Singaporeans and residents who are fully-vaccinated, Wong says it would be possible to travel without having to serve mandatory 14-day quarantine when they return.
In its place would either be home quarantine for seven days, or a “rigorous testing regime”, adds Wong, who co-chairs Singapore’s pandemic taskforce.
“This will allow vaccinated persons to travel more freely. Those who are not vaccinated can still travel, but will be subject to the prevailing [quarantine] requirements,” the minister says.
Singapore expects to have about 80% of its population fully vaccinated by early September, paving the way for an easing of restrictions.
The city-state recently tightened social gathering restrictions, including imposing a ban on dining out, after it reported a spike in local infections, linked to clusters at a fishery port and karaoke bars.
The move to ease border restrictions is expected to give Singapore’s travel industry a much-needed boost, after borders were shut for more than a year. Tourist arrivals in 2020 plunged an unprecedented 86% year on year to just 2.7 million.