Double-vaccinated Indians can enter Singapore without quarantine

Singapore has kept its 5.7 million residents home for more than a year due to the pandemic

Singapore has embarked on the difficult task of re-establishing itself as Asia’s international aviation hub, opening its borders to five more countries as it presses on plans to reopen and live with Covid Is.

The city-state will allow quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated people from countries including India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, it said on Monday as it seeks to move forward safely from the pandemic that has killed its 5.7 million residents. Kept at home for over a year. ,

In a statement on Monday, the health ministry said infected visitors from Indonesia and India will be able to enter Singapore from November 29, while those from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will be welcome from December 6. Unvaccinated children 12 years of age and younger can accompany eligible adults.

Transport Minister S Easwaran said Singapore plans to start the arrangement with Indonesia with two designated flights per day between Singapore and Jakarta, and this will be increased to four. The target is to have two daily flights each to Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, he said. The two countries were among the top five markets for passenger arrivals at Singapore’s Changi Airport in 2019.

The Southeast Asian nation began gradually reopening its borders for normal travel in September, when it closed a vaccination travel lane with Germany and Brunei. The city-state, which has the world’s best airport for eight years until 2020, has abandoned its COVID-zero policy and embarks on an approach to living with the virus.

growing infection

Infection rates are likely to rise as travel lanes open up and the country continues to ease its COVID restrictions, a risk officials said they were prepared to take given the increasing number of vaccinations that were administered. On average, about 2,700 new infections are being diagnosed every day, a slight decrease in the form of the current outbreak in recent weeks.

“We should expect high transmission rates and cases of infection in the coming days and weeks,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said during a briefing with reporters on Monday. “However, while this is happening, we are also giving more booster shots and more people are also recovering safely from infection and becoming more resilient to the virus.”

He said it was only a matter of time before natural immunity and protection from vaccines would bring the infection rate down again.

vaccination itinerary

Currently, there are 13 countries under the VTL program including the US, Canada and Italy. Malaysia, Finland and Sweden will join the list on November 29. Details on travel arrangements with Malaysia will be available later this week.

According to the statement, adding the latest countries to the list will increase the daily quota for those arriving in Singapore under the VTL program to 10,000, from 6,000. As of 14 November, more than 24,000 vaccinated travelers have entered Singapore under these arrangements.

With 85% of its population fully vaccinated, the country is trying to rebuild its status as a hub and reopen to keep a tight lid on infections that could overwhelm its health care system. Is.

Passenger traffic at Changi Airport, Asia’s second busiest for international flights last year, was just 2% of pre-Covid levels in the first nine months of the year.

While Singapore Airlines Ltd is facing a cash crunch due to the pandemic, travel lanes are already benefiting the carrier. It carried 165,000 passengers in October, up from 136,000 a month earlier.

Singapore is allowing more migrant workers to rejoin the community, up from 3,000 vaccinated workers per week to 3,000 per day.

Singapore is restarting business events as well as sports and live performances with vaccinations and testing. It will begin this week with the Milken Institute Asia Summit and the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, followed by a two-day charity concert later this month.

Officials say they are working towards a phased resumption of international events, such as the Formula One night racing event that attracted international visitors before the pandemic. Singapore is negotiating a fresh contract with F1 management and the Singapore Grand Prix.

Officials are trying to implement access control and checking systems in food courts to differentiate between patrons who have been fully vaccinated and those who have not. Once the system is in place, up to five people living in the same residence can dine at those locations. At present, this rule only applies to restaurants.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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