Singapore

Singapore will take risk-based approach regarding overseas travel

A risk-based approach will be taken in allowing travel for Singaporeans in the coming months, even as more of Singapore's population gets vaccinated, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday.

This means that people coming from countries designated as safe, whether they are returning Singaporeans or travellers, will not need to be quarantined when they arrive in Singapore.

On the other hand, those coming from places deemed unsafe, with high virus incidence rates, will have to serve quarantine in a dedicated facility.

DECIDING FACTORS

Explaining this at a virtual press conference, Mr Wong said this has been the Government's approach since the start of the pandemic and can be seen in border measures that are differentiated and adjusted based on each country's infection rates and corresponding risk level.

The co-chair for the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 was responding to a BBC journalist, who had asked if Singapore would allow its people to travel freely in the scenario of full vaccination, or if it would wait until other countries in the region catch up in vaccinating their people.

Mr Wong said if the situation in more countries improve and they are considered safe - such as if infection rates come down and vaccination rates are high - then potentially, Singapore will be able to open up more with these places.

On the flip side, if infection rates in many countries remain high, border and quarantine measures will remain.

Singapore has taken steps to resume leisure travel, with the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble originally slated to start around end-May after an earlier delay. However, the arrangement has been deferred again after the recent spike in Covid-19 cases here.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said Singapore is working towards the resumption of travel without as many restrictions, for example, allowing people to go overseas for work or visit relatives without having to serve a 21-day stay-home notice upon returning. - THE STRAITS TIMES

TOURISM & TRAVEL