Forum: Lift travel restrictions using phased approach

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that his ministry's top and immediate priority is to revive air travel and maintain Singapore's hub status (Crucial to revive air travel and preserve S'pore's hub status: Ong, July 31).

I cannot agree more. We can see the knock-on effects of the travel restrictions. We need to lift the restrictions as soon as possible, albeit in a phased approach and with proper measures in place.

Singapore can require inbound travellers to test negative for the coronavirus one or two days before flying here, and test them again upon arrival in Singapore.

They would have to stay at a dedicated stay-home notice facility until the result is known.

After testing negative in Singapore, travellers will be allowed to follow only a pre-defined itinerary and must regularly report their location using the links sent to them via SMS.

I am not suggesting that the floodgates be opened yet. Start with essential business travel since these travellers are likely to follow short pre-defined itineraries.

However, we would not need to allow travellers only from certain countries. The key is that the travellers must test negative before they are even allowed to fly.

By starting off with essential business travellers, there is less of a risk of exceeding our testing capacity, and we can monitor the incidence of Covid-19 as a trial.

Over time, we can widen this group to include business travellers in general, and even other groups such as international students.

Nicholas Lim Chye Khiang