Singapore drops pre-departure testing in big boost for TFWA ASPAC Live

By Luke Barras-hill |

Quarantine-free travel to Singapore has been made easier after the government scrapped pre-departure testing.

[UPDATED] Fully vaccinated* travellers to Singapore are today (26 April) no longer required to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests in a welcome development for TFWA Asia Pacific Live attendees.

Those visiting the island state were previously required to take a pre-departure test two days before arrival.

Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Framework, effective since 1 April, permits fully vaccinated travellers to enter Singapore without complying with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or applying for entry approvals.

In border and community easing measures outlined by the Ministry of Health on Friday (22 April), limits on group gatherings and social distancing also no longer apply from 26 April.

However, mask wearing will continue to be required in indoor settings, and when people leave their homes and travel on public transport. Mask wearing will remain optional in outdoor settings.

Group size limits and safe distancing will no longer be applicable, nor is there a requirement to adhere to gatherings of 10 people for mask-off activities.

Source: Twitter/Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

IMPETUS FOR APAC EVENT

There will also be no capacity limit for mask-on settings or events with more than 1,000 people.

The development offers a welcome impetus to the industry ahead of the TFWA Asia Pacific Live event, which takes place at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre next month (9-11 May).

Erik-Juul Mortensen, President, TFWA, told TRBusiness: “The recent relaxation of travel restrictions in Singapore is very positive news and demonstrates a strong willingness to reopen for tourism and events in the country.

“TFWA is grateful to the Singapore Tourism Board and to the Singapore authorities for their support, which will allow events such as TFWA Asia Pacific Live to go ahead in the best possible conditions. No pre-departure or arrival tests for fully vaccinated travellers, no limitations on group sizes, and no social distancing rules will make our event even more enjoyable and valuable, enabling networking similar to that we all enjoyed and benefitted from in the past.

“There are some health guidelines in place, and we’ll be ensuring these are followed to make a visit to the Marina Bay Sands conference floors as safe as possible. Registration numbers are good, and an encouraging number of brands and retailers have confirmed their attendance, so I urge anyone who has not yet decided to come to book their flights as soon as possible and join us in May.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said: “This gives us confidence to proceed with further easing of several community and travel measures.Singapore’s daily Covid case counts have fallen steadily since peaking at 26,032 on 25 February. The number of total cases as of 25 April were 1,184,226.

“While this represents a significant step in our return to normalcy, the pandemic is not over. In particular, we must recognise the risks ahead and continue to take necessary precautions, including getting ourselves vaccinated and boosted.

“We also need to stay alert and stand ready to respond if new variants surface or if the public health situation takes a turn for the worse.”

TFWA announced further details last month concerning the two-day in-person networking event.

This followed the decision to re-position the programme after plans were shelved for the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference.

TRBusiness will moderate a special panel session on Wednesday 11 May (14:00 – 15:30 SGT) entitled ‘Sustainable futures’, drawing on an exclusive consumer study conducted by m1nd-set that interprets how shoppers across Asia define ‘sustainability’ and how perceptions vary by nationality.

*Fully vaccinated travellers are those who have received WHO Emergency Use Listing Covid-19 vaccines (at least one dose of Janssen/J&J, or at least two doses of AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Moderna/Spikevax, Covishield, Novavax, Pfizer/BioNTech/COMIRNATY, Sinovac or Sinopharm. Mixtures and boosters of these WHO EUL vaccines, and recovery from COVID-19 with vaccination, are also acceptable.); are aged 12 and below, irrespective of vaccination status.

 

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