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.

By David Flynn, September 30 2020
Singapore opens to visitors from Australia from Oct 8

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.

Also read: Australian travel ban exemptions prove easy for some, hard for too many

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 122

Great news from Singapore, but unfortunately useless due to the clueless fascists taking over in Australia.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

Well, I don’t hear the socialists and the narcissists clamouring for open borders either. They are too busy defending their state leaders’ closed internal borders policy and I fell out of the chair when they announced the new capacity for taking in international arrivals by state. Despite the “increase”, one state is taking far more arrivals than the rest of Australia. It’s easy to keep the state COVID-19 free by keeping it closed when your numbers are small. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

KW72 it is the fascists who are most protesting the lockdown. White supremacists and the like.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 208

Nah. I don't think you know what a fascist is. Those who love freedom can't possibly be fascist. The ones fighting the lockdowns are freedom fighters and libertarians.

RBC
RBC

20 Jun 2020

Total posts 43

Essence of fascism: society is a corporate identity in which everyone has a place -- workers in the factory, bosses in the office, women in the home, everyone respectful of their place because all positions in society are complementary. Foreigners are no use and should be excluded and expelled.

Essence of socialism: society is constructed to perpetuate the ruling group at the expense of everyone else

Essence of liberalism: society is a compromise in which individuals surrender some of their rights for the common benefit.

Essence of libertarianism: everyone for himself/herself with no consideration for the condition of others.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

RBC interesting analysis but I suspect the democratic socialists in Scandinavia and even the communists in various South Asian governments which have all ruled on and off for decades may take issue with some of it though. I would have thought the Tories were more about ruling groups etc.

Yeh thanks Daniel Andrews, you’re such a winner.  What other countries will refuse travelers from Victoria as things start to open up for other states before Xmas.  

If Victoria didn't have a lockdown, and infections grew exponentially (as has happened in a number of countries with low infection rates prior to a second wave), I would expect the whole of Australia would be excluded from any international travel bubble for a very long time. Personally (and I've had to cancel 4 separate international trips from March to October this year) I believe we should not be restricted from travelling overseas (including Victoria in the very near future), or anyone who tests negative for COVID prior to leaving Australia, and at the same time, quarantining at home on return, especially if a negative COVID test has been taken prior to departure back to Australia. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 145

Seems to be a progressive step to reopening travel again. Although the current quarantine and testing requirements makes it quite costly, with home quarantine and free testing, we could definitely make it work. Still holding out for a vaccine tho!

Do you really think that the vaccine will make things right?  Really?

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 208

A small step in the right direction but still impractical - 2 day hotel booking required even if you have made other arrangements, can't use public transport at least for the first couple of days and if you're in Australia you can't leave anyway. Even if you could, you'd be required to quarantine upon return back home.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

TheFreq it isn’t about being in Australia, it is about being Australian (or a PR) all the others can travel. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 208

You're missing the point. If you're in Australia (as an Aussie or PR) you aren't allowed to leave the country. Even if you could, you'd be required to quarantine upon return to Australia.

Even the requirements to enter Singapore are a turn-off. Although far more liberal than they have been over the past few months, I know I won't be going there until all restrictions are removed.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 123

Shame that it’s a country that continues to treats its migrant workers so awfully. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 769

It is all voluntary. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 149

Such a shame they didn’t choose to lift themselves out of poverty eh?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 47

Nobody puts a gun to their heads and forces migrant workers (mostly from the subcontinent) to go to Singapore. It's their free choice where to take up employment opportunities where they can.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 248

It's their choice to go, but it's not their choice to be treated like utter garbage - I don't understand your lack of empathy here. Unfortunately this is the case for most immigrant and low skill level migrants in many countries. 

If I ever decide to move to the UK, I don't expect to be treated like dirt or similar. 

Do you mean Australia or Singapore?

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 84

Not the bubble we wanted but a step in the right direction, it shows that Singapore recognises Australia's efforts. Putting aside the difficulty in leaving Australia, a 1-2 day isolation period in a hotel there is still not going to suit most people, even the average business trip to Singapore is only a few days. This is better suited to people relocating for work or spending maybe 1-2 weeks there. Of course we still need to move beyond 14 days of hotel quarantine once you come back to Australia, and even 14 days at home isolation won't cut it, but hopefully we can get some on-arrival rapid COVID testing here partnered with at most a day of self-isolation. So this announcement is a start, for sure.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Gold the false negative rate (20-40%) for all fast testing is far too high for only a days quarantine. They may go 7-10 days but unlikely to be much less for a while. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 208

I agree with your points Gold4Life. Of course, ultimately travel will never return to pre 2020 levels until all restrictions are ultimately removed. As you rightly point out, most business travellers will not be keen on going to Singapore under these new conditions, though there is an obvious pathway now that didn't exist for the past 6 months. As you say, the majority of people interested in this scheme will be those relocating or returning to Singapore for work, study and family reasons. Temporary business and leisure travellers will find it too cumbersome.

It is due to the sacrifice that all Victorians made to date that Australians from other States are able to visit bubbled destinations. Pandemic comes like a mountain and goes like a thread. It is the fact.

07 May 2020

Total posts 62

KW72....I totally agree with you. Australia and NZ are closed off from the rest of the world for a long time to come whilst the fascists here try to secure their own fiefdoms.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

GoRobin but it is the fascists who are most objecting to the lockdowns.

07 May 2020

Total posts 62

Gold4life....Australia is not part of the so called travel bubble. Singapore like many other countries in the northern hemisphere allow citizens from many countries to come and go. Australia does not so it cannot be considered as a participant.

21 Aug 2020

Total posts 2

Well Australia has closed borders in and out until December 17 at least. So who cares. We cant go anyway because we are all prisoners in this country now

Australians let us rejoice for we are young and free ....

07 May 2020

Total posts 62

A bit like you hey patrickk.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

GoRobin not sure what you’re referring to I don’t mind the lockdown I’m under go go out and about even a holiday to Tasmania. Not sure I’m that keen on open borders a la Europe as the second lockdown seems to be as tough as the first.

Bra
Bra

QF

11 May 2015

Total posts 28

I would like to leave Australia (Australian citizen and resident) and I have a 5 year visa for the SE Asian country I would like to visit. I dont meet the present criteria for approval to leave Australia. If I am approved to leave I would not return until quarantine was no longer required. But even if I did return earlier and require quarantine, why cant I post a bond before I leave here  to cover the quarantine expenses? This could be a bank guarantee so actual cash payment was not required prior to departure. 

In a "free"country my reason for travel should not be required. To enter Singapore under the terms outlined above tourism etc would be accepted. But not so to leave here. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 208

Which SE Asian country offers a 5 year visa? The only one I know of is Vietnam if you're married to a citizen, but ultimately it's a misnomer. They only give you a 1-year stay per time and then you have to seek an extension or leave and return to get another year. I believe Vietnam only recently started allowing foreigners married to locals to return.

Bra
Bra

QF

11 May 2015

Total posts 28

Thailand Elite Visa. You can look up details online as its a bit complicated to go into here. The main drawback is that you have to pay up front THB 500,000 is the cheapest for 5 years. Longer is possible but more money. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 9

I was under the apparently erroneous impression that discussion was supposed to be limited to the subject, and adequately moderated. Obviously not happening when all the discussion has been hijacked (pun intended) by political infighting between the right and the left etc.

Please leave that stuff for the gutter where it belongs.

RBC
RBC

20 Jun 2020

Total posts 43

We need a dose of realism in this discussion. Covid-19 is a dangerous disease (four times as bad as annual flu) with worrying long-term health consequences. Jurisdictions that have succeeded in controlling local infection rates are now experimenting with different mixes of restriction and liberalization. Australia's tough rules (and within Australia Victoria's tough rules) have kept our community relatively safe. There is great economic cost, but the cost is not as great as allowing the virus to run wild as in Britain and the U.S. 

Not all policies have been sensible. Fining people for sitting in the park to eat a kebab was not sensible. Restricting Australians from returning when the Federal government could 'easily' have quarantined them on Christmas Island is not sensible. But we should not let the mistakes in detail obscure the overall wisdom of quarantine measures.

In this context, Singapore's modest relaxation is a good thing. We'll be able to watch how it works. The proposed bubble with NZ is also a good thing, which may lead to even better things. 

08 May 2020

Total posts 54

Having re-booked a Bus Cl Flight originally booked to Phuket via Singapore for August 2020 but obviously had to defer and booked it for May next year and it was all confirmed by SIA, However now they come back and cancelled the return trip and basically asking that I take the next up Bus Class level in order to get a return flight.

Not Happy and considering to now cancel the Trip altogether with SIA for a refund and will be looking for a Pacific alternative with an Alternative Airline.


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