Singapore opens New Zealand travel bubble

Singapore will allow quarantine-free travel from New Zealand, with the Australian quarantine period halved.

By David Flynn, August 21 2020
Singapore opens New Zealand travel bubble

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.


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 356

Can kiwis leave their country though? 

Yes you can- there are no restrictions for NZ citizens and PR to leave, however since laws changed earlier in August, anyone who leaves with a few exemptions must now pay for mandatory quarantine (starting at $3k for an individual) upon their return. Singapore is just trying to get the ball rolling, but it's unlikely to be reciprocated if NZ doesn't agree with the list of Singapore's exemptions or partial quarantine exemptions. The other issue is limited quarantine availability in NZ for returning PR and citizens so you may be left in Singapore waiting longer that you had planned.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1199

It's not quite a bubble until NZ say they are going to have the same no-quarantine policy for travellers returning from Singapore.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 360

Another misleading headline.... much like the tango, it takes two to bubble.


04 Apr 2014

Total posts 207

So LA-AKL-SIN-LA works, just need 14 days quarantine in NZ.  Better than nothing and a start.....

Only if you have NZ PR or citizenship. Otherwise you cannot enter NZ and if you can you will have to pay. But this isn't the point of the so-called Singapore bubble its for people residing in NZ, not USA. So I suspect its unlikely to work and you could waste a lot of money and not leave LA.


04 Apr 2014

Total posts 207

Yeah, I’m a dual NZ/Australian citizen living in LA with family in Auckland and a business in Singapore.  Thanks for reading my mind though.....

This is clearly a first step for Singapore as it tries to reopen the country, even if it's a bit closer to the country's 'green lane' concept, this is a 'bubble'  all the same in terms of SIN<>NZ travel, it's just that NZ seems to have a tighter set of restrictions. Singapore is really hurting from its border closures!

KW72 Banned
KW72 Banned

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 236

This is a misleading and inaccurate headline. There is no travel bubble, as NZ border restrictions are still in place. A more accurate headline would be "Singapore to allow travel to New Zealand" or "Singapore removes quarantine for travellers coming from New Zealand" 

31 May 2020

Total posts 8

What a misleading headline. By that logic, the US also has a "travel bubble" with every country, since there are no quarantine restrictions upon arrival in the US (in most states at least). Executive Traveller really needs an editor who knows how to write.


13 Aug 2016

Total posts 65

It’s kind of ironic that Aucklanders current can fly to Wellington (or anywhere in the country right now). Auckland is currently surround by the modern day Berlin Wall. 

Yet we can freely leave the country, and goto Singapore! 



17 Jan 2018

Total posts 84

ET does not critic anything. Thats the problem with journalism today in general. They just dont add any value to to the debate or report all the facts to allow people to make/take informed positions on things. Alot needs to change in this world but weak half factual journalism is not helping anybody.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2020

Total posts 10

At least it's some sort of start.

16 Sep 2020

Total posts 1

HI IM Kiwi been living in bali and Working in Australia for last 2 years since corona am currently in Australia  I havnt been back to bali can I leave australia and fly to Singapore?As I have kiwi passport with required c.v testing?

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