Singapore eyes vaccine passport

THE government of Singapore is mulling over the establishment of a vaccine passport so as to spare travelers from undergoing a mandatory quarantine and support economic recovery.

A report by the Straits Times said on Tuesday that discussions on mutual recognition of a Covid-19 certification are now on the table and will mark as the first step towards re-establishing travel without quarantine.

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) was quoted as saying that it was looking to create new travel arrangements with countries and regions that have successfully kept the virus outbreak at bay through surveillance and testing, contact tracing, and social distancing.

With some countries now underway with their mass vaccination programs, the MoT said that vaccination offers will further bring down Covid-19 infection rates.

However, negotiations are expected to take some time as countries have just begun rolling out the said program.

“We will provide further updates at appropriate junctures when significant progress has been made with our partner countries or regions,” the MoT was quoted as saying.

Among the countries looking to establish a travel bubble with Singapore are Hong Kong and Australia.

The report said that Australian Tourism Minister Dan Tehan is set to visit Singapore to discuss the possibility of creating a digital vaccine passport system.

For its part, China has rolled out its vaccine passport earlier this month, while the United States and Germany are set to come up with their own.

Also on Monday, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung was quoted as saying that the country is now studying a proposal from Hong Kong to reopen borders.

It can be learned that on March 12, Kung announced that the long-sought travel bubble with Hong Kong is set to happen in the second half of the year.

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