Health

S’poreans Can Now Travel To Europe For Holiday, Only 9 Countries In EU ‘White List’

S’poreans Can Now Travel To Europe For Holiday, As Covid-19 Situation Has Improved

Many Singaporeans have been stuck in our little island since the start of the year, thanks to many countries’ Covid-19 travel restrictions that bar foreigners from entry.

However, as the situation in Singapore improves, we’re looking forward to more countries or territories letting us in.

Hong Kong will be setting up a bilateral travel bubble with us soon, and now the European Union (EU) has opened up its borders to us.

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S’pore added to EU white list

The EU – which comprises 27 countries including France, Germany and Italy – has added Singapore to its “white list”, reported Bloomberg.

That means travellers coming from Singapore will be able to enter without Covid-19-related restrictions, i.e. no compulsory testing and no quarantines.

Singapore was added to the list on Wednesday (21 Oct) after a meeting of ambassadors from the 27 EU nations in Brussels.

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S’pore’s virus situation has improved

Singapore was proposed to be added to the list because the virus situation has improved, an EU official told Bloomberg.

We join an exclusive group of 9 countries that are on the white list, almost all of them are in the Asia-Pacific.

They are:

  1. Singapore
  2. Japan
  3. South Korea
  4. Thailand
  5. China
  6. Australia
  7. New Zealand
  8. Rwanda
  9. Uruguay

The list will be finalised by the end of this week unless any EU country objects.

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List constantly changed

The white list was proposed on 1 Jul in a bid to loosen the restrictions on leisure travel to the EU.

It started off with 15 countries, but since then, countries like Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria and Morocco were removed when the number of Covid-19 cases in these countries spiked.

On Wednesday (21 Oct), the 11-member list was pared further as Canada, Tunisia and Georgia were taken out.

But Singapore was added, bringing the current total number to 9.

The United States, which is still top in the world in terms of Covid-19 cases, is still on the travel blacklist.

Arrangement isn’t reciprocal

However, Singaporeans must note that the arrangement isn’t reciprocal.

That means EU nationals won’t be let into Singapore without testing or quarantine yet — only travellers from 4 countries are now given that privilege: Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.

And since it’s not reciprocal, do note that even you travel to the EU now, you’ll be required to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and take a Covid-19 test when you return

Thus, you’ll have to determine for yourself whether it’s worth travelling to Europe or not.

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May not be advisable to head to Europe yet

It’s satisfying that countries like those in the EU have lifted travel restrictions for Singaporeans, as it means we’re getting our Covid-19 situation under control.

However, for Singaporeans wanting to finally satisfy our travel lust in 2020, it may not be advisable to head to Europe yet, given that many countries there are in the midst of a 2nd wave of infections.

While we’re unsurprisingly missing travel very much, perhaps it’s better to stay put in Singapore for awhile more till the global situation improves, and consider domestic tourism instead.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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