SINGAPORE - All travellers from China and the state of Victoria in Australia will be able to enter Singapore and not be quarantined from next Friday (Nov 6), if they pass a Covid-19 test on arrival.
Singapore's move to unilaterally open its borders to these two places means tourists and travellers flying in can go about their business without serving a stay-home notice if their PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is negative.
The same applies to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning from these two areas.
Singapore had earlier announced similar unilateral measures for all forms of travel from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and all other parts of Australia except Victoria, which until recently had been battling more cases than the rest of the country.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Thursday (Oct 29) that mainland China and Victoria had been added to the list as they have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and had successfully controlled the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
China has a virus local incidence rate of 0.00009 cases per 100,000 people, while Victoria has a rate of 0.099 cases per 100,000 people, it noted in a statement.
"The risk of importation from these places is low," said CAAS.
Travellers from the two places will be able to apply for an air travel pass to enter Singapore from noon on Friday for entry from Nov 6.
Applicants must have remained in China or Australia in the last 14 consecutive days before entry into Singapore. Outbound travel is still restricted in both countries.
Aviation analyst Mr Shukor Yusof of Endau Analytics, said: "After the accord with Hong Kong, it makes sense to extend a similar one with China, especially seeing how the Chinese have been able to curb the disease."
As at noon on Thursday, CAAS had approved 1,375 applications to travel into Singapore from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia, excluding Victoria.
None of the travellers who have come to Singapore has tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival, CAAS said.
It added that it will update the local travel advisory to allow travel to China and all of Australia, although this is expected to have limited impact, with inbound travel restrictions still in place in both countries.
China has been one of Changi Airport's major markets, with 7.3 million passenger movements last year attributed to it. This makes up 10.7 per cent of Changi's total traffic last year.
Indonesia was Changi's top market, with 8.3 million passenger movements attributed to the country.
There are currently only 10 flights weekly to seven cities in China. This is in contrast to December last year, when there were 373 weekly flights to 36 cities in China.