Singapore allows visitors from mainland China, parts of Australia

Singapore will allow visitors from mainland China and an Australian state hard-hit by COVID-19 from next month in a further easing of pandemic border restrictions, authorities said Thursday, October 29.

Visitors will be required to take a virus test upon arriving in Singapore and will not need to quarantine if they record a negative result when the new rules take effect on November 6.

Both mainland China and Victoria state in Australia "have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and displayed successful control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus," a press release from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said.

"The risk of importation from these places is low."

Singapore had earlier lifted restrictions for visitors from other parts of Australia, Brunei, New Zealand and Vietnam.

None of the 602 arrivals so far from those destinations had tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Singapore, CAAS added.

Singapore closed its borders in March to tourists and short-term visitors and later implemented a partial lockdown as coronavirus outbreaks swept through dormitories housing hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.

The city-state has recorded nearly 58,000 COVID-19 cases but only 28 deaths, and is gradually reopening its borders as it seeks to revive an economy battered by the pandemic.

It has already announced quarantine-free "green lane" arrangements for essential business and official travel with several countries including Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia.

Singapore also announced a "travel bubble" with Hong Kong earlier this month, though a start date has not yet been announced. ā€“ Rappler.com