Overseas Holiday Trips & Travel For Leisure Is Unlikely, Confirms Minister Lawrence Wong

End-of-year trips with the fam are common in Singapore — with Dec school holidays being the perfect time to plan a quick getaway to Australia or a quick Bangkok roadtrip.

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Sadly, this probably won’t be a likelihood this year, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation across the globe.

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Minister Lawrence Wong confirmed on Friday (17 Jul) that “travel for leisure” will be unlikely till the end of 2020.

On the bright side, those who travel for “essential” purposes – business conferences & overseas meetings – will probably be able to do so.

You can watch the full 1-hour conference here.

We summarise what else the Covid-19 taskforce has outlined in terms of travel plans till the end of this year below.

‘Avoid all travel’ is still Singapore’s advisory

Based on the unfolding global pandemic, the government’s official stance for travel remains consistent with earlier advisories,

For everyone in Singapore…not to travel, to avoid all travel.

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This is in line with research done by the cross-ministry Covid-19 taskforce which understands that though the situation is in flux, the virus is “unlikely to go away” around the world.

Covid-19 will remain “even till next year”

Minister Wong added that the timeline we’re looking at is that Covid-19 will remain “even till next year”.

In the short-run, since the global situation is unlikely to improve, Singapore’s travel advisory will stay unchanged, he reasoned.

That’s why we can expect that leisure travel will still not be advised, as it remains ‘non-essential‘.

Essential business travel via green lanes

As for travellers who pass the essential travel requirements – clinching business deals overseas or brokering exchanges at international conferences – these will probably happen via mutual ‘green lanes‘ with other countries.

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Singapore’s in the midst of arranging these measures, but Mr Wong adds this is not a “free for all” situation.

In all likelihood, business trips will also be regulated & monitored closely, with opportunities open only to those who need them most.

No holidays for now, but safety first

We’re extra bummed that leisure travel till the end of 2020 seems off the cards for now, as the world continues to combat the coronavirus.

However, with the global case count hitting 14 million with over 600k deaths, it’s definitely prudent to reopen travel in a measured way — to minimise the risks of second or third waves of infections.

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Perhaps it’s time to look into a local staycation or BBQ at a chalet instead, to round out an eventful 2020. We’d prioritise only your closest loved ones for the guest list, just to be extra safe.

Featured image adapted from Google Maps.