Breaking News

Singapore expands quarantine-free travel to eight countries, India not on the list

Singapore is opening its borders to more countries for quarantine-free travel as the city-state seeks to rebuild its status as an international aviation hub, and to reach a “new normal” to live with. makes preparations. COVID-19.

The government said on Saturday that from October 19, fully vaccinated people from eight countries, including Britain, France, Spain and the United States, will be able to enter the island without passing their COVID-19 tests.

The announcement is a major step in Singapore’s strategy to restart international relations.

The Southeast Asian nation, one of the world’s largest travel and finance hubs, is home to the Asian headquarters of thousands of global companies whose executives have long relied on Singapore’s connectivity.

The country of 5.45 million people has been reporting a record daily COVID-19 infections of over 3,000 in the past few days, though almost all cases are asymptomatic or mild. About 83% of the population has been fully vaccinated, one of the highest rates in the world.

Singapore recently reintroduced coronavirus restrictions to buy time to prepare to live with the disease but the move was met with some rare disappointment as the government walks a fine line between reopening and stopping hospitals.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore would reach a new normal and could ease restrictions when cases stabilize, even if they remain in the hundreds.

“It will take us at least three months and maybe six months to get there,” Lee said in an address to the nation. off limit.

“After this surge stabilizes, we may still see a surge in the future, especially if new versions come out. If cases rise too quickly again, we need to tap the brakes again Might have.”

The government will set strict rules for those who remain without vaccination from Wednesday, barring them from entering malls and eating at the country’s ubiquitous hawker centres. It will review some of the COVID-19 restrictions in a week or two.

Singapore’s itinerary for fully vaccinated people began with Germany and Brunei in September and will include South Korea from next month.

3,000 passengers will be able to enter through the vaccinated travel lanes per day, a far cry from the city-state’s record 19.1 million passengers in 2019. The borders to major Asian countries are largely closed.

The government said Singapore is in discussions with several more countries on two-way quarantine-free travel. Philip Goh, Asia-Pacific Vice President of the International Air Transport Association, said, “We hope that further easing of measures to reopen the Singapore border will prompt other markets to resume air travel as well.” “

Singapore Airlines said in a statement that it will expand its immunized travel lane network to 14 cities.

The major carrier, which relies entirely on international travel, lost a record $4.27 billion ($3.15 billion) in the year in March, its second year in the red.

Singapore’s Changi Airport was one of the busiest airports in the world with over 68 million passengers in 2019, before travel crashed last year due to the pandemic.

“Since Singapore’s economy is heavily dependent on external demand for our goods and services, in very simple terms, any move that helps increase the number of flights operated by Changi Airport will add to our GDP, Said Song Seung Woon, an economist. CIMB Private Banking.

The country has had some hiccups in infection with an endemic COVID-19 as the population was focused on avoiding it for almost two years. Its leader said higher vaccination coverage means people will be better protected from the virus, which is likely to infect almost everyone.

“We go about our daily activities as normally as possible, taking the necessary precautions,” Lee said. “We should respect COVID-19, but we should not be paralyzed by fear.

Back to top button