SINGAPORE: Singapore has taken a first step toward reopening its borders for both business and leisure travel, with new travel lanes between the city state and both Brunei and Germany. It says it will look to add more countries in time, as it commits to the nation’s reopening of borders and economies.
Minister of Transport S. Iswaran said vaccinated visitors from Germany and Brunei will be allowed into the country next month.
Germany will mark the island nation’s first transcontinental travel bubble. It has already been allowing visitors to arrive from Singapore, but the announcement means they will no longer have to undertake quarantine after they return.
"We’ve calibrated it tightly in terms of designated flights, but the intention really is to do this well so that we can then scale up," Iswaran told media this week. "This is a critical process to make sure that all parties understand what is required of them, including the travelers, and they’re able to comply and meet the requirements."
The government said last week visitors from Brunei and Germany will not be required to quarantine or have a purpose for the visit or a controlled itinerary.
Iswaran however said he cannot comment on how many countries his ministry is looking at, instead labelling it as a "signal to the rest of the world".
“Essentially we are signaling a path towards reopening. Is it something that is foolproof? We don’t know. But we are doing everything we can to start to forge that path back to restoring travel, restoring connectivity, because that is going to be an essential part of business,” he said.
Singapore now has almost 80% of its population fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Authorities have said they will continue monitoring the number of imported cases to make sure protocols for vaccinated travel arrangements are compliant and working.