Aussies may be allowed to travel quarantine-free to some Asian and Pacific countries as soon as August, following on from Tuesday’s announcement of the impending two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that “multiple senior government sources” confirmed Singapore will be the next priority for quarantine-free travel, as well as other Asian countries will low rates of COVID-19 from around August.
The sources also told SMH that the government is also looking to establish agreements with Pacific nations, with Fiji as a priority.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that “Singapore and Japan and South Korea and countries like this” would be next in line for Aussies to travel to after New Zealand, but added that the government is not yet in a position to move forward with this plan “at this point”.
But, SMH’s sources said Australia’s vaccination rate may be a hindrance to Singapore travel, with the country’s government indicating it will require “vaccination certificates” to allow quarantine-free travel.
“However, vaccinations are only one aspect of pandemic control. Social distancing, contact tracing, quarantine and testing are also very important aspects which countries and regions have used to control the spread of [the] COVID-19 virus even as vaccines become available,” Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday.
In March, the Australian government floated a plan that would see Singapore become a ‘quarantine gateway’ to Australia for the 40,000 Aussies looking to return home from overseas. However, the Singapore government recently confirmed that this was not part of the discussions.
This all comes after the New Zealand government announced that quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand would commence from Monday 19 April.
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