UPDATE: Australia and Singapore will begin quarantine-free travel from Monday November 8, after the two counties signed an agreement to add Australia to the 'Vaccinated Travel Lane' program which now extends to over a dozen nations. Read our latest story for all the details.
PREVIOUS [October 22, 2021] Quarantine-free travel between Australia and Singapore is on the cards for November, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the two countries could sign an agreement as early as next week.
Singapore has already established what it calls ‘vaccinated travel lanes’ with several countries including South Korea, Germany, Canada, Denmark, France and Italy.
Under the Australia-Singapore proposal, fully-vaccinated residents of each country visit the other without having to enter quarantine, although Morrison said the initial focus would be on students and business travellers, with tourists likely to follow in December.
Sydney and Melbourne, both of which will scrap quarantine requirements from November 1, would be the first ports of call for passengers on direct flights operated by Qantas and Singapore Airlines.
‘Final stage discussions’
Speaking at a press conference held inside a hangar at Qantas’ Sydney Airport jet base, Morrison said his government was in the “final stages of concluding an arrangement with the Singapore government”.
“We anticipate that being able to be achieved within the next week or so, as we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore, we will see that occur.”
While not nominating a firm start date, Morrison said "we would expect to see that align pretty much with the timetable that Qantas has announced today regarding when they’ll have flights going to Singapore."
That timetable has seen Qantas bring forward its Sydney-Singapore flights to November 23, four weeks earlier than the previous December 18 schedule.
Far from coincidentally, Singapore Airlines also this morning announced its Airbus A380 would return to Sydney with daily flights from December 1, alongside a daily Boeing 777-300ER, in what the carrier’s Regional Vice President Louis Arul described as “another exciting step on the road to recovery.”
Earlier this month Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran indicated Australia and New Zealand were next on that list, saying “Australia is a very important partner country for us, and there’s a great deal of connectivity between Australia and Singapore, and through Singapore to other parts of the world as well.”