As the Covid-19 situation in Singapore shows promising signs of improvement, the government is also looking to ease border restrictions to resume our connectivity to the world.
To allow for this, the government will be building a Covid-19 testing laboratory in Changi Airport.
This will increase our testing capabilities and replace existing measures like border closures and stay-home notices (SHNs) that are deemed as a “big deterrent to travel”.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (6 Oct), Minister Ong unveiled plans to launch a dedicated Covid-19 testing lab at Changi Airport in the coming months.
This will complement the existing facility there that allows for up to 10,000 passengers to be swabbed daily, reports The Straits Times (ST).
Presently, our nation is testing more than 27,000 individuals daily and plans on increasing it to 40,000 by November.
Minister Ong also spoke about other measures the government is considering to replace the 14-day SHN, which is seen as a “big deterrence to travel”.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), such new measures would include a more robust and frequent testing regime, requiring travellers to segregate from the community, and tracking their whereabouts.
New tests are also being developed as we speak, some may provide faster results.
Other test methods under trial include breathalyser tests, which are far less intrusive than the nose swabs commonly used today.
Though the travel situation in Singapore looks promising, Mr Ong urged Singaporeans to “manage (their) expectations”.
Resumption of air travel in time for the end-of-year holidays is unlikely to happen.
There are, however, plans to establish “air travel bubbles” with other regions that allow for general travels.
Travellers would also not have to follow a “controlled itinerary”.
Minister Ong said while such plans are underway, Singapore would still be cautious with its approach, only entering such arrangements with other countries and regions that are safe.
The number of travellers entering Singapore could also be subjected to a quota to ensure every one of them is following the testing regime.
We’re heartened by our government’s efforts to resuscitate our crippled aviation industry.
Let’s hope these measures prove effective in once again establishing Singapore as an air hub, and saving those whose livelihoods have been affected.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.
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