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Singapore and Australia plan travel bubble

Singapore allows entry to a few countries, including Australia. Both countries are currently working together on a travel bubble.

Traveling in times of Corona presents many with completely new challenges and is often associated with strict entry regulations and quarantine. With a little more normalcy and without a fortnightly quarantine, travelers can currently travel between Australia and New Zealand. Australia is now planning such a travel bubble with Singapore, as reported by international media.

Singapore hopes to fully open the border

International travel is currently only possible to a limited extent and is often associated with strict entry regulations. A country that makes entry particularly difficult, also for its citizens, is Australia. Many Australians are still stuck abroad. The country recently extended its international travel ban until June 17, 2021. This would actually have expired on March 17th, but the global situation “continues to represent an unacceptable risk to public health” for Australians. There is great concern about new infections and the spread of the mutated pathogens. Still, the country is planning some more travel bubbles. So-called travel corridors only exist between Australia and New Zealand. Now Australia is also in negotiations with Singapore.

According to information from the international media, travel between the two countries is to be resumed as early as July. Singapore, too, has only opened its borders to a few countries under strict measures. Until recently, Germany also had a Reciprocal Green Lane, a travel corridor for business travelers between the two countries. But the country wants to protect its population from further spread of the virus and has suspended this travel option for three months for the time being. According to the Guardian, the Prime Minister of Singapore also hopes that his country will quickly open up to more countries. The travel bubble with Australia could make an important step in this direction and make it easier for other travelers to travel to Australia via Singapore, provided they are vaccinated.

Vaccinations play a key role

The travel bubble would allow Singapore and Australian citizens to travel between countries with one vaccination without quarantine. But the hope for many is also to be able to use Singapore as a stopover, to complete the quarantine there for several days and then to travel to Australia. This would be a prospect especially for students, business travelers and Australians stuck abroad. A fortnightly quarantine is currently required when entering Australia, and the number of people entering Australia is limited per week, which still leaves tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas.

In addition to Singapore, Australia is also planning to add more travel bubbles. A basic requirement is a corresponding vaccination campaign, which many countries are already implementing. Under these conditions, Singapore also hopes for a quick opening of the borders, which will not only allow business travelers but also tourist trips:

I hope if that many countries can have substantial proportions of their populations vaccinated by later this year, we will be able to have the confidence and to have developed the systems to open up our international borders to travel safely again.

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister Singapore

In addition to the travel bubble with Australia, Singapore is hoping to fully open its borders by the end of the year or early next year. With a correspondingly high vaccination rate in many parts of the world, hopefully sooner, the Prime Minister told the BBC.

Conclusion on the travel bubble between Australia and Singapore

It's hard to imagine that tens of thousands of Australians are still stuck abroad, considering how long this pandemic has been with us. For many, the planned travel bubble between Australia and Singapore, even without a vaccination, could mean a quicker return. But here too, vaccinated people have clear advantages. While Singapore already allows entry for Australians, vaccinated Australians can bypass the quarantine in Singapore. The other way around. Given the current situation, Australia will certainly plan one or the other travel bubble before the country fully opens its borders!