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Singapore will lift the restriction for all vaccinated travelers starting next week, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong celebrated on Thursday a “major milestone” in the aviation hub’s efforts to live with the Covid-19.
The city-state is the latest country in Asia to remove travel restrictions in a region generally and is more reluctant to remove the barrier than Europe and North America.
Singapore had already started last month lifting quarantine in some countries coming to the Asia-Pacific. Starting April 1, all vaccinated adults and unvaccinated children will be allowed to enter the country without quarantine, as long as they are provided to take a pre-departure test, officials said.
In a televised address, he added that easing travel restrictions will "reconnect Singapore with the world."
"It will offer industries, particularly the tourism sector, a much-needed boost, and it will help Singapore restore its place as a commercial and aviation hub," he added.
Only passengers from countries on a "restricted list" will be allowed entry to Singapore, despite the fact there are now no countries on the list. Singaporeans are no longer required to wear masks outside or gather in groups of 10, as compared to five previously.
The 5.5 million-strong country kept Covid-19 instances low at the outset of the epidemic two years ago, thanks to border controls and a strict lockdown. However, it has been plagued by large outbreaks since last year, and authorities have adopted a policy of living with the virus, despite having some of the world's highest vaccination rates.
Singapore entered its worst-ever recession in 2020 as a result of the epidemic, when the economic powerhouse closed its borders.
Contributed by Jennifer Rose Vergara