The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Thursday (28 Jan) shed light on earlier remarks made by India’s High Commissioner in Singapore P Kumaran on a potential air travel bubble between the two countries.

During an interview with CNBC on Monday (25 Jan), Mr Kumaran stated that India and Singapore are currently in negotiation to open an air travel bubble between the two countries.

The High Commissioner said, “I think there is a fair amount of interest on both sides to enhance the connectivity which we have enjoyed over the years,” adding that the connectivity that has been enjoyed between the two countries have been seriously disrupted due to COVID-19.

“So we are talking about a proposal to restore step by step the connectivity that we enjoyed earlier, and there is a draft under negotiation,” he explained.

Following this, the CAAS clarified that the air travel bubble which Mr Kumaran spoke of may not be similar to the ones Singapore has going on with other countries.

“Countries may have different understanding on what an air travel bubble is. Singapore is not discussing an air travel bubble arrangement with India as Singaporeans understand it to be,” said Daniel Ng, Director of Air Transport at CAAS, in a statement earlier today, as cited by Mothership.

While Mr Ng did confirm that there is interest on both sides to explore gradually resuming international scheduled commercial passenger flights between Singapore and India, he noted that travellers will be subject to travel restrictions and border and health measures, such as testing and Stay-Home Notices.

Currently, air travel between Singapore and India is restricted only to special repatriation flights chartered by the Indian government.

Concern among the public on Singapore allowing travellers from India given the rise in imported cases from the country

There has already been concern among the public about Singapore allowing travellers into the country, as the number of imported COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Singapore reported 25 new cases on Wednesday (27 Jan), all of which are imported cases.

In fact, most of the imported cases of COVID-19 in Singapore are from India.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the past three days, 31 out of 83 imported cases were from India. That’s roughly 37.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, India has reported over 10.7 million cases of COVID-19 to date, with daily new cases hitting the over tens of thousands between July to December 2020. In January 2021, the daily new cases were coming in at over 10,000.

On 27 January, India reported 12,689 new COVID-19 cases.

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