Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, had previously stated that the two countries would work to establish a travel agreement by July 2021.
However, that will not happen this month, as confirmed by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan. “At this stage, [The travel bubble] it is more likely to happen later this year as we ensure both countries can fully implement their vaccination programs.” He added.
The “bubble” will include not only unquarantined travel for citizens of both countries, but also mutual recognition of health and vaccination certificates.
Details of the exact dates and timetable have not yet been announced, but the end of the year appears to be the time when the two countries will be ready to do so.
Regarding the vaccination numbers that will allow the opening of the Australia-Singapore bubble, Singapore hopes to immunize 75 percent of its population by October, Commerce Minister Gan Kim Yong told reporters last week.
In contrast, Australia vaccinated only 8 percent of its population according to Dice collected from the World Street Journal.
On the positive side, the Australian government has finally unveiled its long-awaited plan to transition Australia towards reopening its international borders.
The strategy, simply called the “four-phase plan”, will give Australia the tools to safely create a “new normal” where citizens can have most of the freedoms they enjoyed before the start of the pandemic.
In the first (current) phase, Australia will focus on vaccinating its entire population and achieving mass immunity. In the second, more students and business travelers will be allowed to return. During phase 3, blockades will rarely be necessary and, at last, international borders will be reopened for tourism.
Meanwhile, Australia hopes to continue welcoming international travelers from its travel bubble agreements. so far, it is no quarantine 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 slight increase in cases.
In addition, Australia has been working together with the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) to open a new travel bubble also, in the second half of 2021.