Singapore will allow Australians – excluding Victorians – to holiday and visit the popular city-state from next week but, the announcement comes with a catch.
Singapore’s transport Minister Ong Ye Kung announced the exciting development on Facebook, describing the move as a way to “resuscitate Changi Airport”.
However, it’s unclear how many Aussies will be able to jump at the development considering anyone who wants to leave the country right now needs to be granted a government exemption to travel.
Holiday-makers will also have to fork out an extra $3000 for their two week hotel quarantine upon re-entry to Australia.
Despite all that, Singapore seemed excited by the announcement with the city state’s Civil Aviation Authority describing the “risk of importation” as low.
Visitors from Vietnam will also be allowed to holiday in Singapore on the same day Aussies can.
Visitors from Brunei and New Zealand were welcomed back last month as Singapore works hard to revive its airport.
Anyone arriving into Changi Airport must complete a coronavirus test on arrival and download Singapore’s contact tracing app TraceTogether.
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Travellers will also need to apply for an Air Travel Pass “between seven and 30 days prior to the intended date of entry into Singapore,” the government’s SafeTravel website said.
Australians can apply for the pass from today, October 1.
Visitors must also have a booking at a non-residential place, a hotel for example, and immediately after taking the coronavirus test at the airport take private transport to the place they’re staying.
The visitor must then self-isolate at the hotel until health authorities notify them their test is negative, then allowing them to explore Singapore as a tourist.
Visitors are also encouraged to pay for the coronavirus test before arrival, which costs $S300 ($A306).
Addressing the development on social media, Mr Ye Kung praised Vietnam and Australia.
“Like Brunei and New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia have also very successfully controlled the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” he said.
Mr Ye Kung said he had spoken with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who was “appreciative of Singapore’s decision”.
“And when conditions are right, I believe they will consider reciprocating the lifting of restrictions to travellers from Singapore,” he added.
The borders will open for Aussies from October 8 however applications for the travel pass are open from today.
Singapore has recorded more than 57,000 cases but only 27 deaths from coronavirus and is seen as one of the world leaders for its response to the pandemic.