COVID-19: Singapore to lift border restrictions for some visitors from Australia, Vietnam

SINGAPORE: Singapore will lift border restrictions for some visitors from Australia, excluding Victoria state, and Vietnam from Oct 8, after doing so for Brunei and New Zealand earlier this month.

The two countries have successfully controlled the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of importation is low, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday (Sep 30).

Travellers walking out from the arrival hall at Changi Airport Terminal 1 (Photo: Jeremy Long)

From Thursday, foreigners who are short-term visitors travelling from Vietnam and Australia, excluding Victoria state, may apply for an Air Travel Pass to seek entry into Singapore. Travel will be allowed from Oct 8.

“The risk of importation from these countries is low,” said CAAS, noting that Vietnam had zero local COVID-19 cases over the last 28 days, while Australia (excluding Victoria state) has a virus local incidence rate of 0.02 per 100,000.

At the same time, Singapore will also update its travel advisory to allow travel to Australia (excluding Victoria State) and Vietnam, said CAAS.

People visiting these two countries are advised to check the entry requirements imposed by those countries and take the necessary precautionary measures.

As of Wednesday, Australia has a ban on all overseas travel, unless one is granted an exemption. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

Vietnam has also temporarily suspended entry to all foreigners and overseas Vietnamese via commercial flights. Entry visas may be granted to foreigners with diplomatic and official passports as well as certain investors, business managers, experts and high-skilled workers on a case-by-case basis.

The move comes after Singapore lifted border restrictions for visitors from Brunei and New Zealand from Sep 8.

As of 5pm on Wednesday, CAAS has approved 331 applications from the two countries, of which 136 visitors have arrived so far. None of them have tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival, said CAAS.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING UNDER AIR TRAVEL PASS 

As per the requirements for Air Travel Pass visitors from Brunei and New Zealand, those travelling from Australia and Vietnam will not be required to serve a stay-home notice. 

They will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival instead. If the test result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.

They must have also remained in either Australia or Vietnam for 14 consecutive days prior to arrival in Singapore, said CAAS. 

“Both countries have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and displayed successful control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said CAAS.

All visitors from Australia and Vietnam must travel to Singapore on direct flights without transit.

After taking the test at the airport, they must then take private transportation to their declared place of accommodation and remain isolated until the test result is confirmed to be negative. 

The test results will be out within 48 hours. 

Visitors must also download the TraceTogether app on their phone during their stay in Singapore. 

While in Singapore, they will be responsible for any medical bills related to COVID-19, said CAAS. This includes costs related to tests and isolation should they be suspected of having COVID-19. 

Application for a single-entry Air Travel Pass is free. Applications have to be made between seven and 30 days prior to when they plan to arrive in Singapore.

From Thursday, Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning from Australia (excluding Victoria State) and Vietnam will similarly undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival, in lieu of a seven-day stay-home notice with a COVID-19 test administered before the end of the notice period.

CNA

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