ASEAN News

Singapore to Start Relaxing Travel Restrictions by September

Feature Image courtesy of Edgar Su / Reuters
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Adopting a ‘living with Covid plan,’ Singapore’s revised rules include health and treatment protocols that will allow for quarantine-free travel.

Singapore’s government announced yesterday that plans to allow quarantine-free travel for fully-vaccinated individuals are underway as the the country’s inoculation rate is projected to cover 80 percent of the population by September.

A wet market in Singapore is cordoned off to limit entry and exit points. Photo: Reuters
A wet market in Singapore is cordoned off to limit entry and exit points
| Image Credit: Reuters

In order to transition to quarantine-free travel, Singapore is looking to establish travel bubbles with other countries or regions that have managed to curb Covid-19 cases and maintained general order. When travelling to these destinations, fully vaccinated people may not need to quarantine themselves.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said in a statement: “The easing will be differentiated and extended to only vaccinated persons, because they are much better protected against the effects of the virus.”

He added, “If you want to go out to dine in the restaurant or workout in the gym, you have to be fully vaccinated.”

Government officials have also revealed that the city-state may even consider loosening restrictions as early as August when two-thirds of the population are expected to be fully vaccinated.

This latest development comes after a re-tightening of Covid-19 safety protocols just last week that saw the discontinuation of restaurant dining, and the ban of any gathering of more than two individuals for a whole month after the latest rise of infections.

Seniors wait in an observation area after getting a Covid-19 vaccine dose. Photo: Reuters
Singaporeans wait in observation area after receiving Covid-19 vaccinations
| Image Credit: Reuters

A Reuters tracker shows that Singapore has vaccinated nearly 75 percent of its 5.7 million residents with at least one dose, making them the world’s second highest, right behind the United Arab Emirates. More than half the country has received both doses of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

As more countries are facing the reality that living with Covid-19 might be inescapable, the main focus is now advancing vaccination campaigns in order to prevent more fatalities and other dangerous mutations of the virus.

Singapore, however, may not relax all social distancing measures just yet, as it is still a requirement for people to be masked in enclosed environments, although they won’t need to wear them outdoors, according to Wong.

As of July 25, Singapore had 1,537 active cases, with 12 serious cases requiring oxygen, and two patients in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU). All of the 14 serious and critical cases were unvaccinated.

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