Tehan looks to establish travel bubble and ‘quarantine gateway’ with Singapore

SINGAPORE - FEB 11 , 2017 : Super tree in Garden by the Bay, Singapore.

The Australian government is looking to open up the country’s international border to Singapore and establish the country as a ‘quarantine gateway’.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a plan driven by Tourism Minister Dan Tehan and Government Services Minister Stuart Robert would see a travel bubble open up between Singapore and Australia for holidaymakers, students and business travellers provided they are vaccinated.

On top of this, the plan would see Singapore become a potential vaccination hub and ‘quarantine gateway’ for the 40,000 Aussies looking to return home from overseas.

The plan could see a huge boost in tourism for both countries and could kickstart the revival of the travel industry.

Australia’s existing travel bubble with New Zealand, which is expected to become a two-way bubble by July, could mean a three-way bubble with Singapore, with further countries being added down the track.

Tehan told The Sydney Morning Herald that he has held discussions with his Singaporean counterpart about the plan and is due to travel to the country in the coming months.

“Singapore are very keen to work with Australia on a proof of vaccination certificate and we agreed our officials should work together on this,” he said.

Singapore lifted border restrictions for visitors from Australia, New Zealand, Brunei and Vietnam last year; however, Australians are required to obtain an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.

If Australia does establish a travel bubble with Singapore, it could open the door to travellers from other countries to come to Australia after completing a two-week quarantine in Singapore.

This comes as New Zealand’s opposition leader Judith Collins renewed calls for a two-way travel bubble with Australia after it reopened its borders to Kiwi travellers.

New Zealand travellers have been allowed to travel to Australia without undergoing a mandatory quarantine since October last year, but the arrangement was temporarily suspended in February following an outbreak in Auckland, before being re-established last week.

Featured image source: iStock/tawatchaiprakobkit

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