Singapore – Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announced on Wednesday (Mar 31) that Singapore and China are looking to resume cross-border travel between them.
Dr Balakrishnan took to Facebook to share some of his agenda during a two-day visit to Fujian, where he met China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“Singapore and China have supported each other at critical moments in the face of Covid-19 last year. A friend in need is a friend indeed,” said Dr Balakrishnan.
He announced that both countries continue to work closely together in the post-Covid-19 recovery phase.
“We explored facilitating greater air connectivity and the safe resumption of cross-border travel,” he said.
Dr Balakrishnan welcomed China’s proposal on the mutual recognition of health certificates for cross-border travel and agreed to work out the details.
“There will need to be verifiable, authorised sources of this information, and again we need to be able to exchange relevant subsets of this information in a way that would facilitate safe travel for all the people concerned,” said Dr Balakrishnan in a channelnewsasia.com report.
Singapore and China currently have a “fast lane” arrangement facilitating essential travel for business and official purposes.
The “fast lane” arrangement applies to travel between Singapore and six Chinese provinces or municipalities, namely, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Dr Balakrishnan also announced that Singapore had lifted border restrictions for travellers from China, given the latter’s Covid-19 response was “so good.”
“We are confident that they can come across to Singapore; we test them (and) if they are clear, they can proceed with their activities,” said Dr Balakrishnan.
“China’s obviously looking at our figures and the fact that we’re making good progress, both in terms of case-control and vaccination.”
Dr Balakrishnan did not provide a definite timeline for the resumption of cross-border travel between the two countries, although he noted that the matter was “moving in the positive direction”. /TISG
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