Australia and Singapore plan travel bubble to boost tourism

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Australia plans to set up a travel bubble with Singapore using a digital vaccine passport to allow ease of travelling between the two countries.

According to The Straits Times newspaper, Australia’s Tourism Minister Dan Tehan announced on Monday that he would travel to Singapore in the coming months to set up the travel bubble which would likely also include New Zealand and Fiji.

Tehan praised Singapore for the way it had handled the Covid-19 pandemic and said it would be a strong partner for a two-way travel arrangement.

“If we can continue to get the vaccine roll-out right here in Australia, and they continue to do what they’re doing so well there with their vaccine roll-out in Singapore, I’m optimistic that we might be able to get something up and running by the middle of the year,” Tehan told news service Channel Nine.

“We really want that digital vaccination passport up and running, operating, and in a way that we know that we can trust it.”

Australia reacted swiftly to the outbreak of the global pandemic last year, imposing strict regulations on foreign travellers and banning international travel for locals.

Business news channel CNBC reported that Singapore’s foreign ministry had confirmed the ongoing discussions between the two countries as both had brought their infection rates under control.

“Singapore is currently in discussions with Australia on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates and resumption of travel, with priority for students and business travellers,” Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Sunday.

We are also discussing the possibility of an air travel bubble which will allow residents of Singapore and Australia to travel between both countries without the need for quarantine.”

Source : IOL 2021 Independent Online and affiliated companies, 17th March 2021

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