Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore had previously stated that the two countries would work towards putting in place a travel agreement by July, 2021.
However, that will not be happening this month as confirmed by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan. “At this stage, [The travel bubble] it’s more likely to happen towards the end of this year as we make sure that both countries can fully roll out their vaccination programs.” He added.
The “bubble” will include not only quarantine-free travel for citizens from both countries but also a mutual recognition of health and vaccination certificates.
No details regarding the exact dates and timeline have been announced as of yet, but the end of the year seems to be the time when both countries will be ready to do it.
Regarding vaccination figures that will allow the Australia-Singapore bubble to open, Singapore expects to immunize 75 percent of its population by October, Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong told reporters last week.
In contrast, Australia has only fully vaccinated 8 percent of its population according to data collected from the World Street Journal.
On the bright side, the Australian government has finally released its long-awaited plan to transition Australia towards its international borders reopening.
The strategy simply called the “Four-phase plan”, will give Australia the tools to safely create a “new normality” where citizens can have most of the liberties they used to enjoy before the pandemic began.
In the first phase (current), Australia will focus on vaccinating all of its population and achieve herd immunity. In the second, more students and business travelers will be permitted to come back. During phase 3, lockdowns will rarely be needed, and in the last one the international borders will reopen for tourism.
In the meantime, Australia expects to continue welcoming international travelers from its travel-bubble agreements. To date, its quarantine-free bubble with New Zealand remains partially operational. New Zealand-Queensland has resumed but New Zealand-New South Wales has been paused until NSW can control a mild spike in cases.
Additionally, Australia has been working together with the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) to open a new travel bubble also, in the second half of 2021.