Singapore opens to visitors from Australia from Oct 8

Although travel between Australia and Singapore is back on the cards, you'll still need to quarantine on your return.

Photo: Executive Traveller© Text: David Flynn©, Executive Traveller©

Singapore will allow visitors from most of Australia starting October 8 as the island-nation continues to lift its border restrictions to countries where COVID-19 is considered largely under control.

Victoria will be a notable exception to the Australia-Singapore arrangement until the state makes more progress in battling its 'second wave' pandemic outbreak.

Unlike Singapore's 'green lane' corridors, which are typically for essential business and government travel, the Australia-Singapore travel agreement extends to any visitors, including holiday-makers and conventional business trips.

Vietnam is also covered by the new arrangement. "The risk of importation from these countries is low," the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

However, this falls short of the full promise of a bilateral 'travel bubble' because Australians still need government approval to leave the country and, for the time being, must pay upwards of $3,000 for 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine on their return.

Earlier this week Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted at allowing some returning travellers the option to isolate at home, using technology such as a tracking bracelet or a smartphone app.

Applying for Singapore's Air Travel Pass

In order to visit Singapore, travellers will need to apply for an Air Travel Pass from this Thursday, October 1.

Applications for the free Air Travel Pass must be made "between seven and thirty calendar days prior to the visitor’s intended date of entry into Singapore," according to the Singapore Government's SafeTravel website.

The pass is valid for a single entry into Singapore "anytime from the visitor’s intended date of entry and up to seven calendar days after."

Visitors must also download Singapore's TraceTogether app onto their Apple or Android smartphone, and hold a booking for non-residential (such as hotel) accommodation in Singapore for up to two days after their arrival while awaiting the results on their on-arrival COVID-19 test.

That test is taken at Changi Airport at a cost of S$300 ( visitors are encouraged to register and pre-pay for the test before departing for Singapore), after which they must "take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car" from the airport to their accommodation and remain in isolation until notified of a negative test result.

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