Forum: Give the fully vaccinated travel incentives so Singapore can reopen borders more quickly

Despite knowing that the Covid-19 vaccinations offered in Singapore are highly effective and that every resident ought to do his civic part by going for it when the vaccines are offered, some still have doubts about getting jabbed for various reasons.

I am happy to say that everyone in my family has received at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a final push for more to get vaccinated, to reach the milestones of having 50 per cent of the population vaccinated by August and 75 per cent by October, why not offer some form of incentives to people who are still hesitant in getting their shots?

Hong Kong has incentives such as lucky draws, the United States allows fully vaccinated people to go without a mask outdoors and the European Union exempts fully vaccinated people with the bloc's digital Covid-19 certificate from travel-related quarantine.

Such incentives are not a must for Singapore, but if having some would encourage more to come forward and get vaccinated, then why not?

Perhaps Singapore can consider the following incentives:

First, shorten the stay-home notice duration for fully vaccinated returning Singapore residents. After all, as Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said more than once while serving as transport minister, quarantine kills the demand for travel.

Second, allow fully vaccinated returning Singapore residents to serve their stay-home notice at home regardless of the countries they have visited.

It was heart-breaking to read that Singapore has lost its spot as the world's most competitive economy (S'pore loses top spot in competitiveness ranking, is now 5th, June 18), and that its reputation as a top business and finance hub in Asia is at stake as rival cities reopen (Reputation of S'pore, HK on the line as rival cities open up, June 19).

As borders reopen in many places around the world, Singapore has remained shut for the past 1.5 years.

Julia Chua Kiat Yin