Destinations

Singapore to be “first country outside of NZ” slated for Aussie travel bubble, says ScoMo

Singapore is likely to be the next international destination Aussie travellers will be allowed to visit, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

During a joint press conference with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last Friday, Morrison said Singapore is “the first country outside of New Zealand that Australia wishes to engage in a travel bubble with, and we want to get it right”.

The PMs discussed quarantine-free travel between Australia and Singapore during the sixth annual Australia-Singapore Leaders Meeting at Singapore’s presidential palace, the Istana.

Morrison was visiting the country on his way to the UK for the G7 leader’s summit.

“We discussed how two-way travel between Singapore and Australia can eventually resume, in a safe and calibrated manner, when both sides are ready,” Loong said.

“Before COVID-19, many Singaporeans travelled to Australia for business, for holidays and to pursue their education, and vice versa. We need to resume these people-to-people flows to maintain our close and excellent bilateral relationship.

“We need to prepare the infrastructure and processes to get ready to do this. It starts with mutual recognition of health and vaccination certificates, possibly in the digital form.

“When all the preparations are ready, we can start small with an air travel bubble to build confidence on both sides.”

Hsien said once the majority of the population is vaccinated, it will be easier to “contemplate these openings up”.

“It’s not the only consideration. The prevalence, transmission rates, will certainly be a factor. We watch it carefully. I mean, that’s how the arrangements between Australia and New Zealand work right now,” he said.

Morrison said the bubble would begin with giving priority to Singaporean students to return to Australia as part of the “exercise pilot”. However, he added that the “timing of that is still some way away”.

Loong said there is no timetable for the “pilot”, which he added would later lead to a “full travel bubble”, but he hopes it can be done “as soon as possible”.

Morrison’s latest comments are in contrast to last month when he hinted that Australia’s next travel bubble would be an expansion on its existing bubble with New Zealand to include destinations such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and/or the Solomon Islands.

“We are very focused on supporting our Pacific family, and the idea of a bubble that goes beyond New Zealand and Australia is a real possibility,” he said.

According to a Travel Weekly source with close ties to tourism and government officials in Fiji, the island nation was very close to kicking off a quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia before suffering a COVID-19 outbreak in April.

In other travel bubble news, New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11:59pm on Tuesday 22 June, according to COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

Hopkins said public health officials consider it unlikely there is further widespread community transmission in Victoria.

“However, in line with our precautionary approach we consider this short extension to be prudent,” he said.

“New Zealand health officials will keep a close watch on developments in the state, but at this point, their advice is that we would expect to be in a position to lift the pause at the end of the five-day extension. This will be reviewed if the situation changes.”


Featured image source: Facebook/Scott Morrison (ScoMo)


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

“My heart palpitated”: Influencer raises $83,000 tip for airport pianist

A kind stranger raised a whopping amount of money for a pianist who spends his days tinkling the ivories and raising spirits at an international airport.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Experts warn of yet another Sydney lockdown extension, as Tasmania reopens to Victoria and SA

We’ve coupled the good with the bad in this domestic travel update, but we won’t judge if you only choose to read the positive stuff.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“The product of travel has lost its value”: AFTA chair pens letter to ScoMo

Tom Wanwaring has his handwriting down pat after penning a letter to the PM. Travel Weekly understands he opted for a felt tip and even sealed it with a custom wax stamp.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to host frequent flyer “point-bidding frenzy” for exclusive experiences

The airline will host a series of auctions so its frequent flyers can use up the points they’ve been hoarding since the start of the pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

NCL returns to cruising after 500-day pause

Harry Sommer and Ben Angell have given each other a big virtual high five, after the cruise line commemorated its return to the water by making a little bit of history in the process.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Baillie Lodges snaps up luxe Barossa Valley property

The company has expanded its portfolio with the addition of this gem in the middle of South Australia’s wine region. They had us at wine.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

IATA Travel Pass the “green light” to fly internationally with Qantas and Jetstar

After trialling and testing a number of potential solutions, the Qantas Group has revealed what Aussies will need to get outta here and overseas.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel demand “to return with a vengeance”, says Flight Centre’s Aussie boss

Kelly Spencer and her team at Flight Centre all have their catching mitts on in anticipation of an aggressive travel bounce-back.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions’ partnership with Virtuoso goes global

Aurora Expeditions CEO Monique Ponfoort is doing the happy dance after securing a global deal with the luxe travel network.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott appoints four first-time GMs for signature Aussie hotels

It’s all looking very peachy over at Marriott, with the hotel giant’s career development program bearing fruit in the form of four new GMs.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland channels Van Morrison in new $2.4m tourism campaign

Does “Van the Man” feature heavily in your Spotify playlists? Well, we guarantee you’ll be bopping along to this new campaign from TEQ.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

New marketplace lets travel agents avoid GDS surcharges (and keep incentives)

This article is all about GDS, the NDC and LCCs. If all of those acronyms have gone right over your head, we suggest skipping to the next story.

Share

CommentComments