Coronavirus Singapore

Travel hopes brighten as German window opens

Mr Aaron Wong booked a flight to Munich in Germany 15 minutes after Singapore announced a scheme for fully vaccinated travellers.

The 33-year-old Singaporean founder of travel hacks website MileLion said he is not worried despite Germany reporting a record 9,280 cases yesterday, as "Germany's fully vaccinated population is over 58 per cent, and continuing to increase".

"Germany is the first realistic opportunity for leisure travel in more than 18 months," added Mr Wong, who completed his Moderna vaccine jabs on July 23.

From Sept 8, fully vaccinated Singapore residents can travel to Germany and back without having to serve a stay-home notice (SHN).

Mr Wong, who had considered other destinations such as Hong Kong, said: "While other places like New Zealand and Macau are SHN-free (when returning here), they aren't open to tourists."

He said he plans to avoid crowded places and minimise his time spent indoors, adding that he will purchase travel insurance as well. He leaves on Sept 5.

Ms Cherie Zhang, 27, hopes the scheme will soon include more countries so that she can visit her fiance in the Netherlands.

Ms Zhang, who is fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, added: "I believe that if individuals are careful with safe distancing measures and wear medical-grade masks properly, the risk of infection can be lower.

"As we move to the endemic phase, we should have to accept a small level of uncertainty, but it should get better as more people become vaccinated worldwide."

But others are still apprehensive about travelling now.

Social worker Yong Zheng Xiong, 27, is worried about cases spiking in Germany, even though he has been waiting for a chance to travel since last year.

"I am worried Covid-19 measures may change at the last minute due to rising cases there, and about the chance of getting a false positive result when testing for the virus. I wouldn't want to be unnecessarily inconvenienced," said Mr Yong, who is fully vaccinated.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2021, with the headline Travel hopes brighten as German window opens. Subscribe