COVID-19: Singapore Bubble. Not worth holding your breath
The intention to form a travel bubble between Singapore and Australia was confirmed at a brief meeting between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong an d Scotty from Marketing (our Prime Minister) while on the way to meet with the G7 in Cornwall.
It’s a bit luke warm though, especially with Singapore seeing a recent resurgence of the pandemic
“We discussed how two-way travel between Singapore and Australia can eventually resume in a safe and calibrated manner when both sides are ready. We need to be prepared.”Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore is likely to be the next travel bubble – not requiring full quarantine after the one already formed with New Zealand.
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Vaccine rates and passports
The secret ingredient to make this all happen with be the vaccination rates in both countries. Not surprisingly, Singapore is doing much better than Australia. About 44% of Singapore’s population of 5.7 million have already had one jab. And some form of mutually recognised ‘vaccine passport’ is also going to be essential to a travel bubble.
Singapore is well on the way to some high tech solutions to cover the complexities of COVID-19 travel. Singaporeans have been using the IATA (International Air Transport Association Travel) backed travel pass for results reporting of tests at check-in and immigration.
Students first cab off the rank
The two prime ministers agreed that Singaporean students scheduled to return to Australia for study would be first in the queue once a bubble was created, and they may even pilot the scheme before then.
No time line
No one was giving any time line – but then that is pro forma for little Scotty! Mr Lee talked in terms of ‘the majority of the popuation’ being vaccinated. And for Australia, that has no hope of happening before 2022.