Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Saturday that it would remove quarantine measures for travellers coming from Mainland China and Victoria, Australia from 6 November.

• Last month, Singapore also exempted visitors from Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, and New Zealand from quarantine as long as they tested negative for COVID-19 at the airport.

Why it matters: Singapore’s aviation, tourism, retail, and hospitality sectors could see a significant boost in response to a new influx of travellers. The new measures are the latest in a government push to increase trade and revive its struggling economy.

More details: Travellers will have to undergo a coronavirus polymerase chain reaction test at the Changi Airport. They will be allowed to enter Singapore if their test results come back negative, which could take 12 to 48 hours.

• However, according to the Singapore Tourism Board website, short-term visitors from other countries are still not allowed entry into Singapore, except those coming in under the Green/Fast Lane arrangements, the Air Travel Pass, or with special prior approval. 

By the numbers: Singapore’s economy has suffered tremendously since the onset of the coronavirus.

• In the second quarter of 2020, Singapore’s economy contracted by 13.2%, its worst-ever monthly contraction.

Singapore retail sales plunged 40.5% in April, the biggest drop since 1986, reported the Department of Statistics. 

• The Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) predicts that GDP will shrink 5% and 7% in 2020.

Looking ahead: Travel bubble arrangements will likely become more commonplace as rapid-testing technologies become more accurate and convenient. However, with Europe and the US seeing rising cases, these relaxed measures will likely be limited to lower-risk countries, balancing the economic benefit of tourism against the risk of a further outbreak.

• Earlier this month, Hong Kong and Singapore confirmed that they would allow people to travel between the two cities from November without quarantine if travellers passed a coronavirus test.

• Singapore discussed quarantine-free business travel with Germany late last month. However, Germany has imposed a partial month-long lockdown from today in response to a rapidly escalating outbreak. 

• Thailand is looking into two-way quarantine-free travel arrangements with China from January.

Australia may establish travel corridors with South Korea and Japan.


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