Singapore eases entry, latest drink rules as Asia chases tourists again

Now those kids — and all the others — are ready for a taste of freedom on Tuesday when wearing a mask outside in the Wet City becomes optional. The size of groups allowed to dine together will double from five to 10. Birthday celebrations will be smiley faces, buskers allowed and singing allowed again in church – while wearing masks.

New cases of COVID-19 in Singapore have plummeted over the past fortnight with 8,478 recorded on Thursday. Authorities expect daily infections to halve in about three weeks.

“A huge step forward”

For the city’s food and drink sector, perhaps the best news in the series of changes that will come into effect next week is the removal of the 10.30pm last drink rule. The return of live music will also help.

“Singapore has always been considered one of the most vibrant and vibrant cities on the planet,” said Tristan Lo, co-owner of Panamericana, a steakhouse on Sentosa Island.

“The lifting of the curfew is a huge step towards regaining that reputation. This is a game-changer for so many operators who have worked tirelessly to do the right thing despite significant financial losses,” Mr Lo said.

Singapore anticipates that there will be many more people ready to reserve tables. The government hopes that by making it easier to exit and enter, traffic at Changi Airport will recover to 50% of pre-pandemic levels this year. It’s about 18 percent now.

Since April 1, Singapore and Malaysia have also reopened the land border between the two countries. About 300,000 people use the kilometer of roadway connecting the two countries every day. This flood became a trickle when COVID-19 hit, but now daily quotas are shrinking and no testing will be required at either end for vaccinated travellers.

On the same day, Thailand will drop its requirement for travelers to test themselves before entering the country. If all goes as planned, PCR testing on arrival will also be discontinued from May 1.

Singapore takes the opposite path. It is scrapping testing on arrival, but for the next few weeks at least, returning tourists and residents will still need to test before departure.

The city-state is also officially renouncing its vaccinated travel lanes, moving to a vaccination travel framework. This means that vaccinated passengers will no longer have to request permission to enter.

Singapore’s Transport Minister, Mr S Iwaran, described the move as a “milestone” that signals the nation has “fully reopened its borders, is reconnecting with the world and reclaiming Changi’s status as a hub. of international aviation”.

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