Singapore Travel Bubble Update

Singapore has been working on a number of Travel Bubbles and Corridors throughout the pandemic. Recently the long-awaited bubble with Hong Kong was delayed again following a surge in cases in Singapore.

Picture Singapore by night credit dronepicr on flickr

Australia Travel Bubble

We first reported on plans for a Singapore – Australia Travel Bubble in March and now there is more news.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Australian leader Scott Morrison met earlier this week and discussed a potential air travel bubble (ATB).

Although in its early stages, the plan would be to have a fully bilateral arrangement, allowing travel to and from both countries.

“We discussed how two-way travel between Singapore and Australia can eventually resume, in a safe and calibrated manner, when both sides are ready.”

“And it starts with mutual recognition of health and vaccination certificates, possibly in a digital form. When all the preparations are ready, then we can start small with an air travel bubble to build confidence on both sides.”

“Before Covid-19, many Singaporeans travelled to Australia for business, for holidays and to pursue their education and vice-versa. We need to resume these people-to-people flows to maintain our close and excellent bilateral relationship.”

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister Singapore

Hong Kong Travel Bubble

Originally due to begin in November last year, the Singapore and Hong Kong governments have announced that the travel bubble would be reviewed in early July as they closely monitor the Covid-19 situation in Singapore.

Singapore is just starting to relax restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus and it is hoped that cases will continue to fall in the coming weeks.

The vaccination rate is also an important factor to enable Singaapore to start travel arrangements.

“One of the key measure is really to enhance our vaccination rate. Once we have a very high vaccination rate, then it opens up a lot more possibilities and offers greater flexibility, even in international travelling.”

“The discussion is continuing, but I think it will require some time, especially until we are able to raise our vaccination rate. Then this will give us greater confidence and greater flexibility in implementing air travel bubbles.”

Gan Kim Yong, Singapore Trade and Industry Minister

South Korea

At the press conference questions were asked regarding a possible travel bubble with South Korea. It was clear that it is too early for further movement in this area.

“I think these are concepts that we need to think about for the medium term, definitely not in this period when we are just recovering from this wave of transmission and opening up in stages.

I think it’s always good that we cast our mind several months down the road, because we do need to live our lives normally and resume normalcy, that must include some travelling to safe places in a safe way.

So I think it’s actually good to continue discussions with different partners, regions and countries on what are the possibilities going ahead. But, as of now, I don’t think there are any firm plans.”

Ong Ye Kung, Singapore Health Minister

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