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The deal struck between both countries means there will soon be two-way quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Australia for tourists, students and business travellers. — Reuters pic
The deal struck between both countries means there will soon be two-way quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Australia for tourists, students and business travellers. — Reuters pic

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SINGAPORE, Oct 31— Fully vaccinated Singaporeans will be allowed to travel to Australia without quarantine from Nov 21 starting with New South Wales and Victoria, Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald reported today.

The deal struck between both countries means there will soon be two-way quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Australia for tourists, students and business travellers.

It will be up to the other Australian states and territories to decide if they similarly want to accept vaccinated travellers without the need for 14 days of hotel quarantine, The Sydney Morning Herald said.

The new arrangements are for Singaporeans, not those from other countries who pass through the city state, the newspaper said.

This follows an announcement by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) earlier this week on extending the vaccinated travel lane to Australia and Switzerland, which will allow vaccinated travellers from both countries to enter Singapore without the need for quarantine from Nov 8.

At that point, the CAAS had said that it expected only students and business pass holders from Singapore to be able to enter Australia without quarantine first, with borders to be opened to tourists at a later stage.

Australia prime minister Scott Morrison had issued a statement along those lines last week. 

Today, in response to media queries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s press secretary said that Mr Lee welcomed the latest announcement and thanked Mr Morrison for the decision.

They had finalised the deal today at the G20 Summit, which is currently being held in Rome, Italy, The Sydney Morning Herald said.

Lee also said this was a “significant step towards restoring the close connectivity between Singapore and Australia”. The Republic is now the second country after New Zealand that Australia is opening up to.

Transport Minister S Iswaran called it a “significant move”.

“Families and loved ones can reunite, students can resume their studies, and businesspeople and tourists can once again travel,” Mr Iswaran said in a Facebook post.

The requirements for overseas travellers in New South Wales and Victoria differ slightly. Those going to New South Wales from Nov 1 do not have to undergo hotel quarantine as long as they are vaccinated against Covid-19 with doses approved by the Australian government.

However, those travelling to Victoria — including the city of Melbourne — have to test negative for Covid-19 no earlier than 72 hours before departing for the state. They also need to take a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of their arrival.

In extending the vaccinated travel lane scheme to Australia earlier this week, the CAAS noted that it has similar or lower Covid-19 incidence rates than Singapore.

The Republic has already established similar vaccinated travel lane arrangements with Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. — TODAY


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