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Australia says it’s in ‘final stages’ of opening borders to Singapore

Visitors walk through a terminal of Singapore Changi Airport on Dec. 7, 2020.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

Visa holders from Singapore could soon be allowed to enter Australia as the country prepares to open its international borders in the coming months, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday.

“We are in the final stages of completing an arrangement with the Singapore government,” he told reporters, according to a transcript of his remarks. “Some months ago, I met with the Prime Minister of Singapore … to set up a new arrangement which will see our borders open more quickly to Singapore.”

“We anticipate that being able to be achieved within the next week or so as we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore,” Morrison added.

The prime minister did not specify when tourists from the city-state would be allowed into Australia as visa holders can also mean students, business travelers and skilled migrants.

Gradual reopening

Singapore’s Covid situation

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed the announcement from Down Under.

“Delighted to hear that Australia will be allowing entry to visa holders from Singapore,” Lee wrote in a Facebook post, adding he had encouraged Morrison to do so when the Australian leader visited Singapore in June.

“Singapore and Australia have robust economic and investment links, and warm people-to-people ties. Look forward to resuming close connectivity between our countries,” Lee said.

Singapore has been experiencing a relatively high number of Covid cases in recent weeks — but the health ministry says most infections are either asymptomatic or patients are showing only mild symptoms. Still, it warned that the city-state’s hospitals are “under significant pressure and strain.”

Singapore’s vaccination rate is at 84%. The country has two-way quarantine-free travel arrangements with a number of nations, including the U.S, U.K., Germany and South Korea.

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