Quarantine-free travel between Australia and Singapore is an important step to reopening our country to the rest of the world, offering a lifeline to many businesses reliant on the movement of people and goods internationally.
“Negotiations between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on quarantine-exempt, two-way travel come not a moment too soon,” acting CEO Jenny Lambert said.
“ACCI strongly supports an arrangement that enables free movement of migrants, workers, international students and tourists, as well as goods and services.
“Australia is continuing to haemorrhage billions in lost revenue across key sectors including international tourism, higher education, hospitality and other export industries. Reopening our borders in a staged and safe manner is vital in meeting critical worker shortages, increasing international student enrolments and growing foreign tourist arrivals.
“Longer term border closures and ongoing uncertainty continue to hamper employers and employees alike. Travel between Australia and Singapore aligns with ACCI’s four-stage plan released last month to reopen the nation in a risk-managed and incremental way that is based on vaccinations.”
ACCI’s international reopening plan includes a risk matrix recommending how Australia can best handle the international movement of people now that vaccinations are well underway globally.
“Over the coming months, we look forward to working with government, stakeholders and our international counterparts to accelerate these travel arrangements and expedite support for business.”
Australian Chamber Tourism Executive Chair John Hart said: “Australia’s economy fundamentally depends on open borders. Our travel and tourism industry will not last without international travel if it takes until mid-2022 to reopen.
“An Australia-Singapore two-way travel arrangement will provide an invaluable boost to the sectors and can be undertaken in a controlled and safe way. The proven success of the Australian – NZ travel bubble points to the viability of such arrangements.”
ACCI continues to urge for a staged international reopening plan which ensures Australian businesses have the confidence and tools to minimise the impacts of border closures.