Singapore will allow entry to travelers from Vietnam and Australia, excluding its coronavirus hot spot Victoria state, beginning next week
The tiny city-state last month welcomed visitors from Brunei and New Zealand, and is cautiously reopening its borders after a virus closure to help revive its airport, a key regional aviation hub.
The aviation authority has said there is a low risk of virus importation from the two countries. Travelers must undergo a virus swab test upon arrival, travel on direct flights without transit and download a mobile app for contact tracing.
Singapore’s move is unilateral and not reciprocated by the other four countries.
But Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post Wednesday that “with each step of safe opening of our borders, we start to rebuild the bridges and resuscitate Changi Airport.”
Singapore has managed to control the pandemic after an earlier upsurge due to infections among foreign workers living in packed dormitories. It has confirmed more than 57,000 cases of infection with 27 deaths from COVID-19.
In other developments around the Asia-Pacific region:
— South Korea reported 77 new cases of coronavirus infections as officials called for vigilance around one of the biggest national holidays. The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national caseload to 23,889, including 415 deaths. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo has pleaded for people to stay home during the Chuseok harvest holiday that continues through the weekend, calling it a critical period may determine whether or not the country sees a major outbreak in autumn.