Australia, which has started a flight corridor with New Zealand allowing quarantine-free travel between the countries, is working on a similar arrangement with Singapore, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
The countries are “putting systems in place that will enable such a bubble to emerge between Singapore and Australia as it does now occur between Australia and New Zealand,” Morrison said at a joint virtual press conference after his meeting with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday. He cautioned that the corridor is still some time away, without giving a time frame. Morrison is on an official visit to the city-state.
Discussions between the countries have included giving a priority to students from Singapore to return to Australia to complete their studies, Morrison said. That would be a “first opportunity” for increased travel between the nations, he said.
Singapore and Australia are among a handful of Asia-Pacific countries that have managed to contain the coronavirus and have been reluctant to ease border restrictions. Australia has largely closed off its shores to non-citizens and residents since last year, while Singapore doesn’t allow most short-term visitors to enter, except for those under programs such as a green lane for business travelers.
“When all the preparations are ready, then we can start small with an air travel bubble to build confidence,” Lee said at the media conference.