A Singapore Airlines aircraft is parked next to Scoots passenger aircraft on the tarmac of the Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on March 15, 2021.
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SINGAPORE – Singapore is reopening its borders to other destinations, and some travelers from Hong Kong, Macau, Germany and Brunei will soon be able to enter without quarantine.
The city-state announced the lifting of border restrictions for visitors from Hong Kong and Macau, who apply for entry immediately and can enter Singapore as early as August 26th. according to Transport Minister S. Iswaran.
Singapore will also open a so-called vaccinated travel route with Germany and Brunei in September, the national aviation authority announced. This means that Singaporeans can travel to Germany and Brunei, while visitors from these countries can travel to Singapore without quarantine if the conditions are met.
“As an open and small economy, our connection with the rest of the world is essential, if not existential. So we have to start reopening, ”Iswaran told reporters. “The longer our borders remain closed, the greater the risk that our economy, our livelihoods and our status as an air traffic hub will be permanently damaged.”
Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to travelers from Taiwan, New Zealand and most visitors from mainland China. The Southeast Asian country has closed its borders with Australia and Vietnam after a resurgence of the virus in those countries.
Hong Kong and Macau
Travelers from Hong Kong and Macau can now apply for a flight pass to travel to Singapore regardless of their vaccination status.
They must take a Covid test upon arrival in Singapore and self-isolate until they get a negative test result. Quarantine will not be required.
Visitors must have spent the last 21 consecutive days in Hong Kong or Macau before traveling to Singapore.
This agreement is unilateral, meaning that anyone traveling from Singapore to Hong Kong or Macau will be subject to the rules of the destination.
For example, Singapore is classified as a medium risk country in Hong Kong, and people arriving from Singapore must be quarantined for seven days to 21 days depending on their vaccination status, among other things.
Germany and Brunei
Singapore’s agreement with Germany and Brunei allows only fully vaccinated travelers to skip quarantines. You have to take four Covid tests – one two days before departure, one on arrival, one on the third day and another on the seventh day.
If the itinerary with Germany gets off to a successful start in September, Singapore residents will be able to travel to any country without quarantine for the first time since the city-state’s borders were closed last year. Singapore has postponed its travel bubble with Hong Kong twice due to rising Covid cases.
Applications for travel from Germany or Brunei to Singapore will open on September 1st and the conditions will include:
- Travel on designated non-stop flights for the vaccinated itinerary (VTL);
- Stay in Germany or Brunei for 21 consecutive days before the flight;
- Download a contact tracking app in Singapore.
The agreement is a “welcome step and seems justified in view of Singapore’s successful vaccination campaign,” said the German ambassador in Singapore, Norbert Riedel.
“We are confident that those who travel under the VTL program will demonstrate the necessary self-discipline and ownership by completing the required testing requirements,” he said in a statement.
Speaking at the virtual press conference, Iswaran said, “The vaccinated itineraries with Germany and Brunei mark a measured start to air traffic resumption with a number of essential safety precautions. We have chosen to start with these two countries based on overall risk and operational assessments. ” . “
According to Our World in Data, around 57% of the German population is fully vaccinated compared to 71.3% of the Singapore population. Only 11.9% of the population of Brunei are fully vaccinated.
“Our higher vaccination rates in the population now give us the basis to introduce vaccine-differentiated border measures for travelers from countries / regions that have well controlled the pandemic and also vaccinated large parts of their population,” said a press release from the Singapore Ministry of Health.
Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that after implementing the itinerary with Germany, Singapore residents will be able to travel without quarantine for the first time since the city-state borders were closed last year. The text has also been modified to better describe the terms of the new regulations.