Singapore plans to slightly relax entry requirements from September based on an interview that the country’s Trade and Industry Minister gave to Bloomberg News yesterday.
The country first lets in vaccinated business travelers from countries such as Germany, Australia, Canada, and South Korea, and later tourists with set itineraries to pilot how to open up the country safely for all visitors.
Here’s an excerpt from Bloomberg:
Singapore plans to set up pilot programs to allow vaccinated business travelers from some countries to enter on controlled itineraries next month, as it charts a cautious international reopening that extends to local virus curbs too.
Singapore is in talks with Germany, Australia, Canada and South Korea to be the first batch of countries for such arrangements, though it is also looking at the possibility of leisure travel, trade minister Gan Kim Yong told Bloomberg News in an interview Tuesday. He said factors like infections, vaccination rates and the ability to control outbreaks will be considered in these discussions.
“In the pilot, we are likely to focus more on business travel, but beyond business travel, we are also looking at the possibility of leisure travel, particularly to those safer countries, those with a lower infection rate,” he said. “We will need to pilot-run some of this with an organized itinerary, probably with organized tour groups, to be able to find ways to bubble-wrap them for the journey and with specific designated places that they can visit.”
It seems that Singapore has a quite practical approach to opening the country for incoming tourists. Still, there can be sudden changes if cases start exponentially growing with the delta variant.
The country acknowledges that they cannot stay closed indefinitely and that opening up will undoubtedly lead to a higher number of infections, but as long as hospitalization rates remain low, that is an acceptable trade-off.