Singapore cuts quarantine time for visitors from Vietnam by half

By Minh Nga   August 22, 2020 | 10:35 pm PT
Singapore cuts quarantine time for visitors from Vietnam by half
A man, wearing a protective facemask, walks past the Rain Vortex display at Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore on February 27, 2020. Photo by AFP/Roslan Rahman.
Singapore has cut the quarantine period from 14 to seven days for travelers from Vietnam, deeming it a low-risk country.

The quarantine policy also applies to travelers from Australia - excluding Victoria state - mainland China, Malaysia and Taiwan, Singapore officials told reporters on Friday, AFP reported.

They said the city-state will allow travelers from Brunei and New Zealand to visit from September. The visitors will have to be tested for the novel coronavirus, but will be exempted from the 14-day quarantine.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said Brunei and New Zealand were chosen as they are small countries and have controlled the virus well.

"All in all, I think this is a small cautious step to start to reopen aviation and resuscitate Changi Airport," he said, as cited by AFP.

"Remember, as a small open economy, to survive we've got to keep our borders open. To earn a living, (we) gotta have connections with the world and to thrive and to prosper, we must be an aviation hub."

Changi Airport used to serve 1,000 aircraft a day but this number had fallen to 150, Ong said.

Singapore closed its borders in March to tourists and short-term visitors. It has reported 56,266 Covid-19 infections and 27 deaths.

Vietnam, whose infection tally has reached 1,014, including 26 deaths, took similar actions in late March to control the pandemic spread. The country had considered plans to open borders to people from several Asian countries with low risks, until community transmissions resurfaced in late July.

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