Singapore has begun reopening for travel after 18 months of closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The small Southeast Asian nation is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations with the world’s top-rated airport, yet Singapore has closed to the world since March 2020.
Singapore will reopen to various countries without quarantine on arrival as the nation continues to vaccinate its entire population.
Despite Singapore having extremely low numbers of COVID-19 cases for the past 12 months, the rest of Southeast Asia sees its worst outbreaks of COVID-19 so far.
Local governments have placed Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Vietnam under strict lockdowns, and the Asian continent is currently the most restricted place travel worldwide.
Singapore’s New Travel Restrictions Details
The Singaporean authorities have spoken about “living with COVID-19” and reopening the border for the previous nine months. Yet, the Delta variant has taken the world by storm and has prevented any travel reopenings in 2021.
However, Singapore will reopen to some travelers from Hong Kong, Macao, Germany, and Brunei without serving a mandatory quarantine in the coming weeks.
Travelers from Hong Kong and Macau can apply for entry immediately and could enter Singapore as soon as August 26th, according to Transport Minister S. Iswaran.
According to the National Aviation Authority, Singapore will also begin its vaccinated travel lane with Germany and Brunei in September. The vaccinated travel lane will be reciprocal, meaning Singaporeans can travel to Germany and Brunei without quarantine if they’re fully vaccinated.
If you’re visiting Singapore from Macau or Hong Kong, regardless of your vaccination status, you can apply for an air travel pass to enter Singapore. Travelers will need to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and self-isolate until they receive their negative test results.
If you’re visiting Singapore from Germany or Brunei, you’ll need to take four COVID-19 tests. That includes one COVID-19 two days before departure, one on arrival, one test on day three, and one test of day seven. And yes, that’s even if you’re fully vaccinated.
Applications from Germany and Brunei will open on September 1st, but there are a few requirements that travelers must meet:
- The flights from Germany or Brunei must be direct with no stops at any other destinations.
- Travelers must have been in Germany or Brunei for 21 days before flying to Singapore.
- You’ll have to agree to download the contact tracing app in Singapore
The Singaporean Transport Minister stated, “The vaccinated travel lanes with Germany and Brunei mark a measured start to the resumption of air travel with an essential set of safeguards. We have chosen to start with these two countries based on overall risk and operational assessments.”
The Singaporean Health Ministry also stated, “Our higher population vaccination rates now give us the foundation to introduce vaccination-differentiated border measures for travelers from countries/regions that have controlled the pandemic well and also vaccinated large parts of their population.”
Singapore’s Full Reopening
Although this is a sign that Singapore is considering fully reopening for travel, there’s still a very long way to go before the country allows travel to resume normally.
The Western world and other areas are resuming travel, yet Singapore and Hong Kong — two Asian travel hubs — are still pursuing zero COVID strategies.
Singapore is one of the world’s busiest and most incredible airports, and 19 million people entering the country in 2019.
Singapore’s full reopening will indeed signal that the world is getting back to normal, but until then, the frustrating travel restrictions that have caused economic havoc on the world economy look set to continue into early 2022.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com