The Big Story: Australia-S'pore travel bubble could be established within next week, says PM Morrison

Catch up on the hottest topics on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

Guests going aboard Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship from Nov 8 will have to take only an antigen rapid test at the cruise terminal on the day of departure.

Previously, they were required to take a pre-departure polymerase chain reaction test.

Meanwhile, up to 3,000 vaccinated migrant workers will be able to visit Little India and Geylang Serai weekly for up to eight hours each time starting from Oct 30.

The move is part of efforts to ease restrictions for vaccinated migrant workers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday (Oct 22).

MOM said it will expand the community visit programme and further ease restrictions for visits to recreation centres.

Separately, Australia plans to set up a travel bubble with Singapore next week that is expected to allow quarantine-free flights to start from November.

Australia's Prime Minister, Mr Scott Morrison, confirmed the plan on Friday, indicating that the bubble for fully vaccinated travellers could be in place by Nov 23 and would initially apply to international students and business travellers.

Tourists could be allowed to enter from December.

The Big Story speaks to two students who are looking forward to the travel bubble between both countries. The first is Ms Clarissa Low, a second-year student at the University of Melbourne. She is unable to attend school physically and has been in Singapore since April 2020. The second is Ms Heather Gan. She has been unable to return home since starting her PhD programme at the University of Wollongong in end-January 2020.

Also on the show, science and environment correspondent Audrey Tan. She shares more about carbon credits and how it will help Singapore reduce its carbon footprint.

Looking overseas, investigations are underway after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of his new movie Rust - killing the film's director of photography, Halyna Hutchins. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident and is currently in hospital.