Singapore fully reopens borders after two-year COVID closure

Singapore | Fri, April 1, 2022

After a two-year coronavirus shutdown, Singapore fully reopened its borders to all vaccinated visitors on Friday, with visitors saying it felt “great” to travel without restrictions once more. As they transition to live under COVID-19, the aviation hub, a crucial gateway for people arriving in Asia, joins other countries in the region that have recently lifted travel restrictions. Previously, only a few countries could enter Singapore without being quarantined, but from Friday, all vaccinated visitors will only need a negative COVID test.

The city-Changi state’s Airport was humming with activity as travellers flooded out of the arrival area and queued up in the departure zone for excursions outside of Singapore. Aldo Pizzini, a 63-year-old Italian businessman who had flown in from Milan, told AFP, “It’s great.” “I flew for the first time today, since that many of the restrictions have been relaxed… We’re returning to normalcy.” Diana Mathias, a French Guiana native who now lives in Abu Dhabi, was in Singapore with her mother for a vacation.

“I’m overjoyed since it’s been a long time since I’ve flown,” she remarked. The 38-year-old admitted that she was “a little stressed” at the idea of handling a lot of paperwork in order to travel again, but that the procedure was “very straightforward” in the end. On Friday, Malaysia’s borders were fully reopened, and thousands of automobiles and motorcycles streamed through a one-kilometer (0.6 mile) causeway that connects it to Singapore. The causeway, which is one of the busiest land borders in the world, was partially reopened last year, while some limitations remained.

As foreign tourists arrived at Kuala Lumpur’s main airport, it was crowded. Tourists were previously prevented from entering Malaysia, a major tourist destination known for its white-sand beaches and lush jungles, but now vaccinated travelers can enter with just a negative COVID test. Bo Lingam, the group CEO of AirAsia, a large regional carrier based in Malaysia, expected a “surge” in passengers flying. He told AFP that the reopening of borders is “a thrill for me and our AirAsia staff who endured a lot of hardship during the pandemic.” “It’s all about flying the blue skies and getting our planes off the tarmac starting today.”

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