Just days after news broke about the upcoming travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand, Scott Morrison has hinted at further travel prospects for Australians.
With the COVID-19 vaccine rolling out around the world, the possibility of international travel is closer than ever. Well, closer than it has been since March 2020.
So, where next?
During a recent press conference, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison alluded to several Asian countries as possible options for future travel. These countries include South Korea, Japan, Fiji, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. New Zealand is the only confirmed country so far.
“We have looked at places like Singapore and Japan and South Korea and countries like this, but at this stage we are not in a position to move forward on any of those,” Mr Morrison said.
However, other government sources told the Sydney Morning Herald that immigration and health authorities were developing plans. These plans are particularly regarding a Singaporean travel bubble in the coming months, possibly as early as July.
Singapore Airlines spokesman Karl Schubert said the airline “remains committed to working with the Singapore and Australian governments to support and progress the safe re-start of travel between the two countries.”
Singapore has had an average of 25 COVID-19 cases per day in the last week, some of the lowest COVID-19 numbers in the world. The vast majority of these cases have come from hotel quarantine.
The likelihood of a Singapore travel bubble
Visitors to the city-state would require testing upon arrival and secure COVID-19 travel insurance. Vaccine requirements are yet to be confirmed.
Singapore’s transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, has also commented on the potential Australian travel bubble.
“We are exploring with several countries and regions, including Australia, on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. The certificates can be physical or digital, and we will need them to be secure, tamper-proof and verifiable,” he said.
“However, vaccinations are only one aspect of pandemic control. Social distancing, contact tracing, quarantine and testing are also very important aspects.”
Other countries such as Fiji have only reported 67 cases of COVID-19 total. There have been less than 100 cases during the entire pandemic, making Fiji a great Australian travel bubble prospect.
Popular destinations such as Thailand and Japan may take a little longer. But hopefully will open their borders to vaccinated Australians by the end of the year.