Vaccinated Singaporeans can holiday in Sydney, Melbourne without quarantine from Dec 21

This development restores two-way travel without quarantine between Singapore and parts of Australia, after a three-week suspension. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Fully vaccinated Singaporeans will be able to fly to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia without having to serve a three-day quarantine period from next Tuesday (Dec 21).

This development restores two-way travel without quarantine between Singapore and parts of Australia, after a three-week suspension.

Under Australia's travel pilot for Singapore, vaccinated Singaporeans can enter parts of the country for all forms of travel, including tourism.

Eligible travellers, including non-Singaporeans, can then return to Singapore without quarantine under the Republic's Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme.

New South Wales and Victoria states said on Friday (Dec 17) that they agreed to lift the requirement for travellers to self-isolate for 72 hours after arrival in order to streamline processes.

Under the updated rules kicking in next Tuesday, fully vaccinated international travellers arriving in New South Wales and Victoria will be required to get a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 24 hours of arrival, and isolate until they receive a negative result.

As travellers can opt to pay for a PCR test in Australia which is able to return results in under an hour, it means that the self-isolation period can be made negligible.

Other requirements that travellers have to adhere to include producing a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test within three days of boarding their flight.

Any passengers arriving from overseas to New South Wales and Victoria aged 18 years and over who are not considered fully vaccinated must still go directly into a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet said: "We know it has been a challenging time for international travel with new rules and the emergence of the Omicron variant, but this announcement is about simplifying the process and making sure Australia's two biggest cities have a consistent approach."

Both Victoria and New South Wales have achieved a vaccination rate of more than 90 per cent for residents aged 16 and over.

Under Australia's travel pilot for Singapore, eligible Singapore citizens can enter participating states in the country quarantine-free without seeking an exemption.

The pilot is open only to vaccinated Singaporean citizens, in order to limit the number of eligible travellers. Australia said this will allow the authorities to test border measures before opening up further to non-citizens.

The pilot started on Nov 21, before it was disrupted on Nov 28 by the self-isolation requirement introduced in response to the Omicron variant.

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