Passport renewals down with travel unlikely amid Covid-19

Insurance demand also takes a hit; sentiment for travel expected to recover with vaccine roll out

Retiree Chew Ban-Seng, 72, used to travel to countries in the region four to five times a year for conferences and meetings, but he did not renew his passport when it expired last year. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CHEW BAN-SENG, ST FILE PHOTO
ST FILE PHOTO
Retiree Chew Ban-Seng, 72, used to travel to countries in the region four to five times a year for conferences and meetings, but he did not renew his passport when it expired last year. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CHEW BAN-SENG, ST FILE PHOTO
Retiree Chew Ban-Seng, 72, used to travel to countries in the region four to five times a year for conferences and meetings, but he did not renew his passport when it expired last year. PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHEW BAN-SENG

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging in many parts of the world and the possibility of mass international travel looking increasingly unlikely for this year, fewer Singaporeans renewed their passports or applied for new ones last year.

A total of 320,709 passports were issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) last year, compared with 711,617 passports issued in 2019 - a sharp drop of more than 50 per cent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 24, 2021, with the headline 'Passport renewals down with travel unlikely amid Covid-19'. Subscribe