Singapore is on track to open “vaccinated travel plans” with more countries – but that does not mean the country is taking significantly higher risks, Transport Minister SK Eswaran told CNBC on Monday.
The city council announced this last week This will start more travel plans From vaccinated passengers South Korea, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, England and the United States. Germany and Brunei It started in September.
The initiative allows vaccinated people to travel without isolation, but passengers must take the Covid-19 test to make sure they are not infected with the virus before entering the country.
He added that Singapore would “explore similar travel arrangements” in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many other regions.
The initiative with Singapore Trade Relations Minister Eswaran, Germany and Brunei has brought only two cases of travelers affected in the country — so-called 3,000 VTLs entered Singapore in the first month.
“So when you connect the need for the vaccine, the ways in which the vaccine is given and the jumps across the border do not increase the risk we take as a nation … significantly,” he told CNBC. Squawk Box Asia. “
Eswaran responded online to criticism that the city government’s plans to reopen international travel were contradictory. Imposing some new restrictions Within the country.
Singapore on Saturday said it would tighten some government restrictions. Those who have not been vaccinated are no longer allowed to enter the malls, and even those who have been vaccinated are subject to a limit of two persons when entering the malls.
The minister pointed out that VTLs have proven that only a limited number of cases enter the country, but social infections are on the rise – a “significant proportion” spread through social activities.
“In terms of risk assessment, it allows economic and public activities to proceed as much as possible, while at the same time imposing certain restrictions, while imposing some‘ critical constraints ’,” Eswaran said.
By October 9, 83% of people had completed two doses of the government vaccine.
However, the number of cases began to increase after some restrictions were relaxed, reaching a daily record of over 3,000 last week.
Last month, Singapore authorities The government intensified operations In an effort to soften social exchanges and prevent hospitals from overflowing. The country has begun to promote self-isolation of people affected by mild symptoms of goiter.
Eswaran said the launch of the vaccinated routes was part of efforts to restore the city-state as an international aviation hub.
Before the epidemic, Changi Airport in Singapore was one of the busiest in the world It handled 68.3 million passengers in 2019. However, this is down from 80% in 2020 to just 11.8 million passengers. According to local media.
“What we are trying to do with our vaccinated routes with countries in North America, Europe and Asia is to emphasize that we have found ways to open international air traffic in a safer way and restore Singapore’s status quo. Build an international aviation hub,” Eswaran said.
News of the extension of the conditional travel plan removed items related to the flight on Monday morning. Singapore Airlines Increased by 7.8% Clause -Provides site handling and air catering services -5.04% Received.
On Sunday, the total number of infections was 126,966, 162 deaths. However, the country’s health ministry said 98.5% of the affected people had no symptoms or mild symptoms in the last 28 days.
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