Singapore to ease border restrictions, travel to be 'almost like before Covid-19': PM Lee

Most restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors entering Singapore will also be lifted. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Cross-border travel restrictions will be eased substantially from next week as the Covid-19 situation comes under control, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In a national address broadcast live on Thursday (March 24), Mr Lee said testing and quarantine requirements for travellers will be streamlined under a simplified Vaccinated Travel Framework.

Most restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors entering Singapore will also be lifted.

PM Lee said these changes will allow Singaporeans to travel freely abroad more easily, almost like they did before Covid-19, and reconnect Singapore with the world.

"It will give a much-needed boost to businesses, particularly the tourism sector, and help Singapore reclaim its position as a business and aviation hub," he added.

Under the current Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme, only travellers who remain in VTL-designated countries for the previous seven days before entering Singapore can be exempted from quarantine and isolation requirements.

They must be fully vaccinated, enter Singapore on designated flights, buses or ferries, and obtain a negative result on a pre-departure Covid-19 test or proof of recent recovery.

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PM Lee said Singapore had been cautious earlier because of uncertainty over the impact of the Omicron variant.

"Now, the Omicron situation is well under control. Nearly all our cases are domestic, originating within the community," he said.

"Arrivals from abroad constitute only a very small proportion of cases. We can therefore safely open up our borders."

More details on the new framework will be announced at a press conference held by the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 later on Thursday.

Read next: What you need to know about Singapore's latest Covid-19 rules

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