Singapore has opened a 'green lane' travel bubble for travel from New Zealand, and it shows how the proposed Australian bubble would also work in practise.
The Asian mega-hub, long a popular destination for both business and leisure travellers, will allow free movement from New Zealand – along with the nearby nation of Brunei – as of September 1.
Visitors from New Zealand and Brunei will need to apply for a special 'air travel pass' - applications for which will open on September 1 - between seven and 30 days before their intended date of arrival into Singapore.
They'll have to a Covid-19 test on arrival at Changi Airport and be required to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result, but otherwise will not have to stay in quarantine upon arrival in Singapore, provided they have remained in the country for the last consecutive 14 days prior to their visit to Singapore.
However, they will be responsible for any medical bills should they require medical treatment for Covid-19 while in Singapore.
"We know that some places have been able to control the infection effectively, and the risk of importation is low," said Education Minister Lawrence Wong, whose remit includes overseas students who will also benefit from the relaxed border controls.
"Our assessment is that there is no need for a stay-home notice requirement for travellers from these low risk places, and a Covid-19 test will be sufficient."
The government pointed out that Singaporeans intending to visit New Zealand and Brunei should check the entry requirements imposed by each country.
Mr Wong noted that there are other low risk countries and regions, and that visitors from these areas may not need to serve a stay-home notice. "But out of abundance of caution we will keep the requirement for now," he said.
The quarantine period for visitors from Australia (excluding Victoria), Macau, mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia will be shortened from the current 14 days to seven days.
"Of course, the countries in the different categories will continue to be updated over time," Wong added, "so this is not cast in stone. We continue to assess the situation, and we will update the list of countries over time."
'Essential travel' for business, official and work purposes continues to be permitted under reciprocal arrangements in place with countires such as Malaysia and China.