Vaccinated Singaporeans can fly to Australia and back without quarantine from Nov 21

The Republic is the second country Australia has opened up to after New Zealand. PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI, REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Vaccinated Singaporeans will be able to travel to parts of Australia and back without quarantine in either country from Nov 21.

Australian media reported on Sunday (Oct 31) that tourists, workers and students will be allowed to visit New South Wales and Victoria without spending 14 days in hotel quarantine.

The deal was finalised between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Rome.

The Republic is the second country Australia has opened up to after New Zealand.

Singapore announced the start of a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) earlier this month that will allow vaccinated travellers from Australia to enter Singapore without having to serve a stay-home notice, beginning Nov 8.

With Australia also opening up from Nov 21, a vaccinated Singaporean will be able to depart for New South Wales and return without having to serve quarantine in either country.

The Prime Minister's Office said on Sunday evening that PM Lee welcomed Australia's announcement and had thanked Mr Morrison for the decision.

PM Lee said in a statement that Australia's move is a significant step towards restoring the close connectivity between Singapore and Australia.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said in a Facebook post: "Families and loved ones can reunite, students can resume their studies, and business people and tourists can once again travel."

The VTLs announced by the Republic let vaccinated travellers enter Singapore without having to serve stay-home notices. Instead, they will take a Covid-19 swab test before departure and after arrival in Singapore.

Singapore has so far announced 13 VTLs. Ten, including those with the United States and Britain, have already started.

The VTLs for travellers from Australia and Switzerland will start on Nov 8, while the last one for South Korea is due to start on Nov 15.

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Australia was among the top 10 markets for annual passenger arrivals at Changi Airport, accounting for about 4 per cent of total arrivals in 2019.

There are more than 50,000 Singaporeans who live in Australia while over 25,000 Australians live in Singapore.

Mr Philip Goh, regional vice-president for Asia Pacific at the International Air Transport Association, said the group is excited by Australia's decision to open its borders to Singapore citizens.

"We look forward to further easing of border restrictions by Australia and other countries in the region," Mr Goh added.

"It will provide the needed boost for the recovery of the aviation industry and air travel sector."

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