Singapore is pushing for an Australian border re-opening with the small colonial nation’s economy being heavily reliant on tourism and most visits per year coming from other Asian nations and Australia/New Zealand. But comments this week from Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham seem to have quelled the hopes of the Singaporean Government, claiming that open tourist-related travel to or from Australia remains “quite some distances off.”
None the less, Singapore’s Changi Airport has been making leaps forward in its quest to become totally COVID-safe prior to the reopening of travel from other nations such as Australia, having this week announced that they’re open for transit for both Australian and New Zealand passengers. These transits do not currently include connecting international flights where a traveller gets off a plane and reboards a separate and different plane, however, and Singapore is only allowing travel to Changi Airport on Singapore Airlines or their sister airlines SilkAir and Scoot.
Singapore is also separating transit and non-transit passengers stringently on any flight. Passengers who are flying directly to Singapore will sit separately from passengers who will be reboarding the flight in transit. They will also have a separate cabin crew and washroom to direct passengers.
Transit passengers will also have their own assigned lounge with no access to duty-free shops or Singapore Airlines’ lounges. First and business class customers, however, will still have access to premium beverage and dining services and all customers will be able to access WIFI.
Changi Airport is also looking at following in the footsteps of concepts which have been put forward here in Australia. Such as the trial of a “fast lane” which allows business-based travellers to forego a mandatory quarantine in order to conduct quicker transits through the city.
That aside Singapore is enforcing mandatory social distancing and pandemic control measures such as temperature analysis checkpoints, social distancing controls in arrival and departure lines and stringent and frequent cleaning of the entire airport.
If Singapore’s history of efficiency, cleanliness and effectiveness of process is anything to go by? I can see my next holiday occurring extremely soon in the city-state.