With a de facto travel ban in place for most Singapore residents since 18th March 2020, when citizens were advised to defer all travel abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been almost no opportunity for overseas leisure trips for the majority of our readers over the last few months.
Though some arrangements have been put in place for essential and business travel to and from China, Malaysia and soon, Japan, there is still no realistic prospect for foreign holidays for what’s increasingly looking like the rest of 2020.
Some light may be appearing at the end of the tunnel however, with incoming Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday announcing in an address to ministry staff that Singapore was considering reciprocal green lanes for tourism with some countries.
Mr Ong used his maiden speech to Ministry of Transport staff to highlight the devastating impact COVID-19 was having on the country’s major air hub Changi Airport, with only a fraction of normal activity over recent months.
“The airport has been almost totally incapacitated. Strict border measures and health concerns have deflated international air travel to almost zero…
“We were the 7th busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic, but have dropped to 50th. Worse, we have no domestic air travel to fall back on.”
Ong Ye Kung, Transport Minister
Only 790 passengers per day passed through Changi Airport in May 2020, though this increased to around 1,600 in June thanks to approval for transit traffic.