Singapore, China eye mutual restart to business travel
Authorities in Singapore and China hope from early this month to enable “essential travel” for business and official purposes between the two countries, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Friday press statement.
The ministry referred to the idea as a “fast lane” arrangement, which would be nonetheless subject to “effective Covid-19 prevention and control measures”. The statement did not give details of the measures.
“The arrangement would be first applied between the six Chinese provinces or municipalities directly under the [Chinese] central government (Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang) and Singapore,” the Singapore ministry wrote in its Friday announcement, noting the plan was for initiative to be gradually expanded to cover more Chinese provinces and municipalities.
To help the plan, Singapore and China are looking to enhance commercial civil aviation links. Air services regionally and globally have been curtailed due to factors including lack of demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai, had said on Thursday according to local media reports that the city-state’s government has been in talks to establish “travel bubbles” with some foreign countries where the virus associated with Covid-19 infection was under control. Such easing would only be applied to essential business travel, and require virus-testing regimes in place in the partnering countries, according to reports of the minister’s comments.