Singapore’s government may reduce travel restrictions to the city-state by September and allow for quarantine-free travel as the country continues its vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past year, the country has imposed some of the strictest restrictions on travelers – both foreigners and residents – which has taken a significant toll on the economy and its flagship airline, Singapore Airlines.
According to Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who spoke to Parliament on Monday, Singapore expects to get at least 80% of its population vaccinated by September, which would allow it to explore loosening restrictions (26 July).
According to Bloomberg data, Wong’s statements boosted the stocks of Singapore Airlines and airport ground-handler SATS. SIA shares increased by up to 2.2 percent, while SATS increased by up to 2.3 percent.
“While other nations may have accepted a certain amount of COVID-19 instances and even deaths, this is not the option we wish to make in Singapore,” Wong explained, explaining the limits reimposed last week. “At the same time, there is no need to wait until everyone has been vaccinated before we start opening up. That would imply delaying the entire reopening timeframe until much later in the year, which is not feasible.”
Singapore will also start reopening its borders and allowing vaccinated persons to travel, according to the ministry. It will begin by establishing travel corridors with nations or areas that have “well managed COVID-19” and have the infection under control. “As a result, properly vaccinated individuals will be able to go to certain countries or regions without having to serve the full 14-day stay-at-home notice in a hotel when they return,” Wong explained.
The stay-at-home notice will be replaced by a “rigorous testing regime” or a seven-day isolation time at home, depending on the risk level of the nation they visit. He claims that vaccinated persons will be able to travel more freely as a result of this. “Those who have not been vaccinated may still travel, but they will be subject to the current SHN (stay-at-home notice) requirements.”