COVID-19: Singapore Travel Bubble – on hold until late 2021
We have been tantalised by the possibility of a travel bubble with Singapore for months now. Well, you can forget all that until at lest the end of 2021. That’s according to Dan Tehan, the Australian Trade Minister as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.
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Both Australia and Singapore have been COVID-19 success stories, with the island state recording a very low death rate.
While Dan Tehan blames it on the ‘third wave of the virus’ less biased observers (me) would say the delay is probably more associated with the Australian government’s complete failure to meet its vaccination roll-out schedule (around 15%), especially compared to Singapore (close to 54%).
When will borders open?
Let’s face facts, we don’t even have international agreements about ‘Vaccine Passports’! The request for tenders for an App to accomplish this has just been issued, with the deadline for availability set at December 2021. The government and the Australian Digital Health Agency don’t have a good record with Apps – remember the COVID-19 tracing App? Yes, the less said, the better.
If they get this App up and running, the intention is that it will interlink with MyGov and MyHealthRecord to provide access to all vaccination data for each registered Australian. Next move will be to get it recognised internationally for vaccination certificates.
It will save us all carrying those little yellow booklets with our vaccination records in them (I already have 2!)
A December roll-out for the App is OK especially since it doesn’t seem like international borders will be open until mid-2022.
I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand
Look, if all this works, and I can enter and leave countries using my phone to evidence my vaccinations and negative COVID-19 tests, you will get a hearty hip-hip, hooray from me. But I remain pessimistic. We’ve been talking about this for months. IATA already has a Travel Pass app and a plan, which is being tested by 60 odd airlines, including Qantas, but has not been endorsed by governments yet for use or integration with border controls.