Coronavirus: Singapore to work with G-20, other bodies to restart travel

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the resumption of international traffic amid the Covid-19 pandemic will be done safely through comprehensive testing and rigorous contact tracing.
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the resumption of international traffic amid the Covid-19 pandemic will be done safely through comprehensive testing and rigorous contact tracing.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Singapore will work with the Group of 20 countries and international organisations to look into gradually restarting cross-border travel, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Thursday.

This resumption of international traffic amid the Covid-19 pandemic will be done safely through comprehensive testing and rigorous contact tracing, he said.

His comments came after Singapore's announcement of fast-lane arrangements on consecutive days with Brunei and South Korea earlier this week. The lanes will allow for essential business and official travel between Singapore and the two countries.

Dr Balakrishnan was speaking at the virtual Extraordinary G-20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Thursday.

He attended the meeting in Singapore's capacity as convener of the Global Governance Group, an informal group of smaller and medium-sized countries that seeks to promote greater transparency and inclusivity in the G-20 process.

During the meeting, Dr Balakrishnan and other foreign ministers talked about the need for international cooperation across borders. They also discussed the need to work towards a recovery which is more resilient to future shocks.

In addition, Dr Balakrishnan commended the Saudi Arabian G-20 presidency for its leadership and efforts in galvanising the international community to address the tremendous challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He emphasised the need to keep global supply chains open and the importance of speeding up the digital transformation of societies.

He also stressed that therapeutics and vaccines should be a global good for all.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore to work with G-20, other bodies to restart travel'. Subscribe