Singapore may let vaccinated residents travel without quarantine

This is to countries that have low numbers of Covid-19 cases, says Transport Minister

Singapore can consider allowing residents who are vaccinated to travel to countries that have low numbers of Covid-19 cases, without having to be quarantined on their return, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday.

This is another avenue for travel that the Republic is exploring, he said, as the country prepares to open up a two-way quarantine-free travel bubble with Hong Kong on May 26.

In response to questions from Lianhe Zaobao after an interview on One FM 91.3's The Big Show, he noted that countries such as Britain, Denmark, France, Germany and the US have exempted travellers from Singapore from quarantine.

With vaccination efforts under way in Britain and the US, the number of infections has been going down in those countries, he said, though not to a level low enough for Singapore to reciprocate with quarantine-free travel.

"If they can keep the number of cases quite low - and it doesn't have to go down to zero or one or two cases - we can consider allowing vaccinated Singaporeans to travel to these places. And when they return, they can just get tested instead of being quarantined," he said.

Tickets for flights to and from Hong Kong have already been snapped up. The travel bubble will allow quarantine-free travel between the two cities, with no restrictions on the purpose of travel.

Asked if more flights will be added, Mr Ong said: "If the travel bubble works, then we can think about having more flights and even having travel bubbles with other countries.

"Many people will be watching to see if it succeeds, and if it does, it can serve as a model for other places."

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.