With the careful relaxation of travel restrictions and more green lanes allowing essential and business travel, Singapore is keeping a close eye on imported cases and making sure they do not leak into the community. Clara Chong looks at the different arrangements.
Strict measures in place for hard-hit places
- In Europe, the number of new Covid-19 cases has been rising rapidly. For instance, France reported more than 10,000 new cases on Sunday while Britain reported almost 4,000 cases on the same day. Countries like Italy saw close to 1,000 new infections and Germany reported 1,345 new cases on Sunday as well.
- Given the severity of the pandemic in some countries, visitors from these places will have to serve a 14-day quarantine at dedicated government facilities and take a polymerase chain reaction swab test prior to the end of their quarantine period.
Countries which have bilateral green lane arrangements with Singapore
1. Japan (from Sept 18)
The Business Track allows for safe resumption of cross-border travel and business exchanges, with necessary public health safeguards, such as testing before travellers leave, and after they arrive, and adhering to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days on arrival.
2. China (from June 8)
Visitors from China - the first country to establish a green lane with Singapore - need not serve a quarantine of up to 14 days but must undergo Covid-19 swab tests. This applies to six provinces: Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. The arrangement will be gradually expanded to other Chinese provinces and municipalities.
3. South Korea (from Sept 4)
Conditions include pre-departure and post-arrival testing, as well as the need to adhere to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days after travellers' arrival.
4. Malaysia (from Aug 17)
Singapore opened its borders to Malaysia under two schemes - the Reciprocal Green Lane and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement.
The Reciprocal Green Lane facilitates cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries while the Periodic Commuting Arrangement allows Singapore and Malaysia residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country to periodically return to their home countries for short-term home leave.
Countries with which Singapore has allowed general travel
Brunei and New Zealand
- On Singapore's end, general travel to Brunei and New Zealand has been allowed from this month, though people here cannot travel to either country until restrictions are lifted there.
- Singapore is allowing visitors from these two countries, without the need for a 14-day stay-home period or quarantine if they had remained in the two countries for the past 14 consecutive days prior to their visit to Singapore, as the virus situation in those places is well under control.
- These visitors entering Singapore come under the Air Travel Pass Scheme, which allows for all forms of short-term travel, including leisure travel.
- Visitors from these two countries will have to take a swab test upon arrival and will be able to go about their activities after they get a negative test result. They will have to use the TraceTogether app for the duration of their stay here, among other conditions.
Singapore is having discussions with places including:
Both countries said on Aug 25 that discussions will start on green lane arrangements to resume essential official and business travel.
Both countries have agreed to speed up discussions on setting up a reciprocal green lane, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Aug 26.
3. Hong Kong
The Singapore Consulate-General in Hong Kong said on Sept 10 that the Republic welcomes talks with Hong Kong on the gradual resumption of cross-border travel between the two sides.