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Australia and Singapore establish quarantine-free travel lane as international borders reopen

The world is opening up again and Australia has announced another quarantine-free travel lane with one of our most popular destinations.

Singapore and Australia have established a quarantine-free travel lane which will open next month for use by fully vaccinated travellers.

Yesterday, the Asian island nation announced it was adding Australia and Switzerland to its quarantine-free list from November 8, a list that already includes the US and several European countries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke about the new bubble in an interview with Sunrise this morning.

“Last night the Health Minister signed off on the fact that from November 1, Australians who are double vaccinated will be able to travel overseas, as we have flagged, and we are looking forward to that,” he said.

“We are getting very close now to the reciprocal arrangement with Singapore … we are working to a timetable which will see other visa holders, in addition to Australians returning or going to Singapore and returning doubly vaccinated, being able to come to Australia.

“The national plan is working. The national plan provides for this. The national plan is about opening Australia up and that is because the vaccination rates are climbing so high.”

Singapore is easing travel curbs and shifting to a strategy of living with Covid-19 to revive its economy despite suffering its worst coronavirus wave yet, with the healthcare system under strain.

“It is important that we persevere with efforts to reopen our borders, with essential public health safeguards in place, to remain an international aviation and business hub with global connectivity,” Transport Minister S. Iswaran told reporters.

Starting November 8, fully vaccinated travellers from Switzerland and Australia who test negative for Covid-19 before they depart and when they arrive will be able to bypass quarantine.

Business travellers and students from Singapore are expected to be able to travel to Australia under the initiative.

Singapore Tourism Board CEO Oliver Chong said the nation was looking forward to welcoming Aussies back.

“We’re extremely thrilled with the resumption of travel between Australia and Singapore. We know Aussies are avid travellers and can’t wait to travel overseas, so we hope this will encourage them to make plans to visit Singapore as soon as they can,” Mr Chong said.

“Australia has always been a close and longstanding trade and tourism partner for Singapore.

We are confident that this Vaccinated Travel Lane will be warmly welcomed by everyone as we continue to move towards a safe and calibrated reopening of our borders.”

Australia’s borders have been largely closed for the last 19 months to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but the border ban will finally go on November 1.

The expansion of Singapore’s VTL scheme will allow up to 4000 people to enter Singapore daily through the travel lanes, an increase of 1000 from current numbers.

South Korea is also due to be added to Singapore’s initiative from November 15.

Singapore still has some curbs in place but its leaders have so far refused to impose a tough lockdown, with 84 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.

with AFP

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