Singapore began entry without quarantine for fully vaccinated passengers from eight countries on Tuesday, as part of a plan to ease restrictions as the business center prepares to live with the coronavirus.
The latest easing expanded a program that started with vaccinated airlift routes with Germany and Brunei last month, and is now open to passengers from the United States, Canada, Britain, Denmark , France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
Singapore Airlines said flights from Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles and New York were scheduled to arrive on Tuesday as part of the program.
“We have seen very high demand for our Vaccinated Travel Lane flights,” the carrier told AFP.
“This applies to all cabin classes, as well as various travel segments, including leisure travel, family travel and business travel. “
Passengers arriving under the program – which will include South Korea from November 15 – will not have to self-quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated and tested negative for the virus before their departure and upon their departure. arrival.
To allow families to travel, Singapore has allowed entry to unvaccinated children aged 12 and under if accompanied by someone traveling under the program.
The city-state first fought the Covid-19 pandemic by closing borders, imposing blockages of varying intensity and aggressive contact tracing. But with more than 80% of the population fully vaccinated, the authorities want to revive the economy.
“Singapore cannot remain locked up and closed indefinitely,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on October 9, when he announced a series of measures as part of the “Living with Covid-19” strategy.
The city-state is home to the regional offices of thousands of multinational corporations, which rely on Singapore’s status as a business and aviation hub for their operations.
Singapore’s vaccinated traffic lanes could also provide a boost to the tourism and airline industries hit by the pandemic, analysts said.
Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for around 5% of Singapore’s GDP, said Song Seng Wun, regional economist at CIMB Private Banking.
“Previously, we received 1.6 million tourists every month, our airport handled more than a thousand flights a day before the pandemic. Today, it’s just over 300 flights a day, ”he told AFP.
Statistics from the Singapore Tourism Board showed that international visitor arrivals fell to less than 2.8 million last year, from a record 19.1 million in 2019.
© 2021 AFP