Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung has announced that Singapore might introduce reciprocal green lanes at Changi Airport for tourists from countries experiencing a similar or better Covid-19 situation to Singapore. These green lanes will exempt these travellers from serving the 14-day quarantine upon arrival, with hopes of boosting the number of Changi’s passengers to 40% of pre-pandemic levels.
In a Facebook video posted earlier this month, Ong Ye Kung shared that there has been a major decline in international air travel since the Covid-19 pandemic began. In fact, Singapore’s position of 7th busiest airport in the world has since dropped to the 50th place, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States taking top spot.
In his National Day speech to the Ministry of Transport, Ong Ye Kung pointed out that spending two weeks in isolation is a huge deterrent to travellers. “We may have to consider replacing this with a rigorous testing regime,” he said, adding that tourists might let in tourists from certain countries, even if they have banned from Singaporeans from entering theirs.
Right now, Changi Airport has reciprocal fast lanes in place for visitors on official and business trips from Malaysia and China. Similar arrangements are currently in the works for other countries, as well, including New Zealand.
“As colleagues from Changi Airport told me, Covid-19 set us back by at least 40 years to 1981 when Terminal 1 first opened,” the minister shared. “”Our challenge is to restore passenger volume, while keeping virus transmission under control. The circumstances are different, but we need the same hunger and enterprise as we had in the early 1980s. When it comes to the fate of Singapore, the following truth holds: To survive, we have to keep our borders open. To thrive, we have to connect to the world. To prosper, we have to be a hub of the global economy.”