Last Friday (21 Aug), the Singapore government unilaterally announced the opening of its borders to New Zealand and Brunei. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) yesterday (25 Aug) spelt out details of the conditions for travelling here.

CAAS said that from 1 Sep next week, visitors from the two countries can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) for entry into Singapore. They need to do so between 7 and 30 calendar days prior to their intended date of entry into Singapore.

They will need to pay and take a COVID-19 test upon arrival but no quarantine is necessary. Other conditions include:

  • They must have spent the last 14 consecutive days in New Zealand or Brunei before departing for Singapore and travel on direct flights.
  • They must undergo a COVID-19 test at the airport. After taking the test, visitors are to take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car from the airport to their declared place of accommodation. They must remain isolated at the accommodation until the test result is confirmed to be negative, after which they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.
  • They must download the TraceTogether app on their mobile devices and keep it activated during their stay here. In addition, they must not delete the TraceTogether app for 14 consecutive days after leaving Singapore. Should they subsequently test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after leaving Singapore, they will be required to upload data in the app upon request by Ministry of Health.
  • They must be responsible for their medical bills should they require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore.

New Zealand government tells its citizens not to travel

The New Zealand government, however, continues to advise all its citizens not to travel overseas, even as it acknowledged Singapore’s decision to open its borders.

“We are aware of Singapore’s intention to establish selective travel programmes with a range of countries, including New Zealand,” a spokesman for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Singapore’s media.

But the spokesman added that New Zealand’s advice to its residents not to travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic remains unchanged.

“We will continue to review these settings in response to international developments.”

New Zealand’s border remains closed to all but citizens and residents. It said that there are some exceptions to the border restrictions but the bar to be granted an exception remains high so as to protect New Zealand against COVID-19.

New Zealanders who choose to travel overseas will have to serve a quarantine period of at least 14 days at a government-provided facility when they return home.

As for the Brunei government, it is continuing its strict restriction for its residents from leaving Brunei without permission for circumstances such as seeking medical care or to attend court hearings.

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