Singapore to lift border restrictions for arrivals from Vietnam

By Nguyen Quy   October 1, 2020 | 12:25 am PT
Singapore to lift border restrictions for arrivals from Vietnam
Travelers wear face masks at the departure hall of Changi international airport in Singapore, August 2020. Photo by AFP.
Singapore will unilaterally remove border restrictions for visitors from Vietnam starting October 8 given the latter's effective Covid-19 control.

The move will also be applied to Australia, excluding Victoria state, as both countries "have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and have successfully controlled the spread of Covid-19," the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) stated Wednesday.

"The risk of importation from these countries is low," it added, noting that over the last 28 days, Vietnam had zero local Covid-19 cases while Australia, excluding Victoria state, had a low virus incidence rate of 0.02 cases per 100,000 people.

Vietnam has so far recorded 1,094 infections with 46 active cases.

With the latest two additions, Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to four countries as the island state seeks to revive its airport and tourism sector. Earlier, Singapore lifted border restrictions for visitors from Brunei and New Zealand on September 9.

Those traveling from Australia and Vietnam will not be required to serve a stay-home notice. Instead, visitors will have to take a swab test for Covid-19 upon arrival, and can commence their activities in Singapore after they show negative test results. They will have to install the TraceTogether contact-tracing app during their stay in Singapore.

They must have also remained in either Australia or Vietnam for 14 consecutive days prior to arrival in Singapore, CAAS stated, adding all visitors must travel to Singapore on direct flights without transit.

After taking the airport test, they must then take private transportation to their declared place of accommodation and remain isolated until test results are confirmed negative. Test results will be released within 48 hours.

While in Singapore, visitors will be responsible for any medical bills related to Covid-19, said CAAS. This includes costs related to tests and isolation if they are suspected of having contracted the novel coronavirus.

Singapore has recorded over 57,000 infections and 27 deaths so far. Vietnam has yet to resume routine commercial flights with Singapore. Earlier, the government green-lighted the resumption of commercial flights to seven Asian destinations, including mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Though the government allowed the resumption of some routine international commercial flights, foreign tourists have yet to be allowed back into Vietnam. The only foreigners currently allowed entry are those carrying diplomatic or official passports, experts, managers, high-skilled workers, and investors, their family members, international students, and family members of Vietnamese citizens.

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