Bangkok Desk, Oct 1 (efe-epa).- Starting next week, Singapore will allow the entry of travelers from Australia and Vietnam with certain restrictions due to its success in controlling the COVID-19 epidemic and the low number of cases in the city-state currently.
The lifting of border restrictions between the Singapore and the two countries will be effective from Oct. 8 and comes after a similar measure put in place with New Zealand and Brunei, which has been in force since the beginning of September.
The gradual opening up of Singapore to travelers from other countries is a rare exception in the Asia and Oceania region, where the vast majority of nations are keeping their borders completely closed to tourism.
“Both countries (Australia and Vietnam) have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and displayed successful control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said in a statement.
“Over the last 28 days, Vietnam has had zero local COVID-19 cases, while Australia (excluding Victoria state) has a virus local incidence rate of 0.02 per 100,000. The risk of importation from these countries is low,” it added.
However, the Singaporean authorities will maintain the ban on the entry of travelers from the state of Victoria, the capital of which is Melbourne, where a second wave of coronavirus infections is being recorded that account for more than 90 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.
Travelers from Australia and Vietnam, who can apply for an Air Travel Pass for entry into Singapore from Thursday, will not need to undergo quarantine upon arrival in the city-state, but must be tested for the virus.
“Applicants must have remained in either Australia (excluding Victoria state) or Vietnam in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry,” the CAAS said.
None of the 136 visitors from New Zealand and Brunei – of the 331 applications approved by Singapore – have tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival or during their stay in the city-state, according to the agency.
Singapore also has an agreement with neighboring Malaysia to allow the entry of some people, mainly for business trips. EFE-EPA