The Singapore-Australia travel bubble ready by year-end

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Australia’s vaccination rates are on the rise despite a string of lockdowns and Delta outbreaks.

Australia’s national carrier recently declared its intention to begin international travel as soon as Christmas, with CEO Alan Joyce referring to the current market conditions to be “diabolical”.

Countries with high COVID-19 vaccination rates are first on the airline’s hit list, with Singapore leading the shortlist of eligible nations.

So far, Australia has only been able to successfully open a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand, though borders remain closed at the time of writing due to growing COVID-19 cases in the country.

But, with Singapore likely to be the next bubble, how will a travel agreement with the sovereign nation look?

Here’s everything you need to know about planning a trip to Singapore, as well as how the travel bubble will function once it opens.

Qantas last week announced that is looking to open travel by mid-December 2021 and Singapore is included in the list of destinations that Qantas will operate first.

The Australian government is currently negotiating the establishment of a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore, though no official date has been set. This bubble would allow residents of both countries to travel between them without being subjected to mandatory quarantine.

According to recent figures, Singapore has now vaccinated 80% of its population against COVID-19, making them a prime candidate once Australia matches their efforts on the vaccine front.

The Singapore government currently classifies Australia as a ‘category two’ country, which means that you can enter if you commit to a seven-day stay-at-home notice at your preferred accommodation.

Of course, once an acceptable level of vaccinations has been achieved, Australia will look to upgrade to a ‘category one’ status, joining Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China (excluding Jiangsu province), Macao, New Zealand, and Taiwan. These countries are not currently required to quarantine but must complete an on-arrival COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. If the test results are negative, travellers are free to vacation and go wherever they want.

While it is unlikely that our government will open the floodgates to all of the above-mentioned destinations all at once, they may all become part of our bubble in the later stages of reopening international travel.

There’s no doubt about it now. The privilege of international travel will require you to get the jab before boarding a flight, with many domestic carriers taking a hardline stance on the issue.

Many governments will issue their own version of a travel passport to ensure that only the vaccinated pass through.

Singapore is instituting a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) in this brave new world of reduced border measures, requiring holidaymakers or temporary visitors to apply seven to 30 days before entering, with applications available beginning 1 September 2021.

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