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April 7, 2021

Asian Winters on the Horizon

Australians might potentially be able to travel to selected Asian and Pacific countries without facing lengthy quarantine procedures by August of 2021 as the Morrison government looks to open the border to more countries. Recently the Trans-Tasman travel bubble was announced with New Zealand.

Immigration and health authorities are looking at plans to open the borders up to Singapore within the following months, soon to be followed by other nations with low COVID-19 numbers such as Fiji, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and South Korea. However, Japan and South Korea’s daily numbers continue to climb higher.

Multiple sources have confirmed that Singapore will be the next step priority for the government. However, Australia’s rate of vaccinations may pose an issue as Singapore has indicated it will require vaccination certificates to resume quarantine-free travel.

Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung was asked within the Singapore Parliament about plans for travel bubbles wherein Australia was mentioned among other countries. He confirmed they are exploring several countries and regions, including Australia on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. Minister Ong Ye Kung stressed that vaccines are only one aspect of pandemic control and that Social distancing, contact tracing, quarantine and testing are also important and countries and regions must retain these practices.

Currently, Australians who are permitted to leave the country and enter Singapore require having a negative COVID-19 result 72 hours before departure and by isolating until they receive another negative test upon arrival, typically within a day.

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