Taskforce to explore other options to facilitate inbound travellers: Ong Ye Kung

THE multi-ministry taskforce will explore "other practical schemes" to welcome travellers from countries with higher infection rates but are "economically important" to Singapore, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung in his ministerial statement on Tuesday.

"There are ways to facilitate these travellers to come to Singapore while managing the risk of virus transmission. Many stakeholders and members of the public have written to us with very well thought-through and sensible ideas, and we are studying them carefully," he said in Parliament.

Mr Ong noted that the requirement of serving the 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) in a hotel is a big deterrent for most travellers from wanting to come to Singapore.

"We have to facilitate the visits without such an onerous restriction," he said, adding that the SHN could be replaced with "new requirements", such as a more stringent and repeated testing protocol and segregation from the rest of the community, along with close tracking of travellers' movements.

Said Mr Ong: "This will benefit not just business travellers important to our economy, but a range of people who need to come to Singapore for various purposes, such as compassionate reasons or to reunite with a long-separated partner.

"The message we want to send to the world is this - Singapore has started to reopen its borders."

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