Quarantine-free travel from the two countries is set to resume on September 1.
The Lion City plans to relax border restrictions to permit general travel from New Zealand and Brunei as soon as next week. Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of Singapore’s ministerial Covid-19 task force, announced the decision at a virtual press conference last Friday. Starting on September 1, travelers arriving from the two nations are no longer required to quarantine, and will instead be tested for Covid-19 at Changi Airport, where they must wait until a negative result is received.
Wong said, “We know that some places have been able to control the infection effectively, and the risk of importation is low. Our assessment is that there is no need for a stay-home notice requirement for travelers from these low-risk places, and a Covid-19 test will be sufficient.”
However, it’s worth pointing out that this is not a reciprocal “travel bubble” arrangement as Singapore residents traveling in the other direction will remain subject to prevailing entry restrictions. New Zealand is only letting in citizens and those with permanent residency, and returning travelers are required to undergo a two-week mandatory quarantine at their own expense. Similarly, Brunei has barred foreign nationals (except for individuals with special permission); returnees must also spend 14 days in self-isolation at a designated monitoring center.
According to the Straits Times, visitors from the two countries will need to apply for a special Air Travel Pass between seven and 30 days ahead of their arrival in Singapore. The city-state’s government has made it clear that it will not be subsidizing medical treatment for tourists should they fall ill with Covid-19 while in the Lion City.
Wong also said the mandatory quarantine period for travelers arriving in Singapore from low-risk regions would be halved from 14 to seven days. Specified areas so far include Australia—with the exception of Victoria—mainland China, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.