With Singapore’s travel restrictions eased and more VTLs rolled out, are people happy that the city-state is reopening to the world?

Vaccinated Singaporeans are starting to venture out into the world again without the need for quarantine. Since the opening of the first vaccination channel (VTL) with Germany and Brunei on September 8, Singapore has opened VTL with 11 other countries including Australia and the United States.

To utilize these corridors, travelers must be fully immunized with approved vaccines, hold recognized proof of vaccination, and meet travel history and VTL flight requirements.

Foreigners planning to visit Singapore must also purchase travel insurance and apply for a travel pass for vaccinations before departure.

Being able to travel to another country to see loved ones, or for a change of scenery, or just to take a breather – especially to the West, where Covid-19 rules are less suffocating – is good news for many in the Lion City .

What it’s like to use the Singapore-Korea vaccination corridor

However, social-distancing measures in Singapore — which include capping restaurant dining at two people, or five if all are from the same household — have been seen as contradicting the idea of ​​openness.

We spoke to Singapore residents to get their perspective on the city’s reopening.

Marat Khairetdinov said the atmosphere in countries such as the Netherlands and France was less stressful than in Singapore.

Marat Khairetdinov, 37, private banker

“This opening has been a long time coming. I’m glad we’re finally allowed to travel without quarantine. Like many others, I was disappointed when the lifting of restrictions was delayed…even though we complied with COVID-19 regulations.” Regulations. Even now, I feel that the current restrictions in Singapore are still a bit excessive compared to European countries.

“I’ve been to Russia and France to see family and friends, and now I’m in the Netherlands. People can go out without masks. Although a partial lockdown has just been implemented, the atmosphere here is still less stressful than in Singapore.

“I hope the government will remove more restrictions in Singapore and at the same time establish VTLs with more countries such as the UAE.” It has since been announced that VTLs will be established with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia on December 6.

86222138 748f 46b6 a2f8 df5ea2637e43 63caeb94
Melvin Chew with his mother at their booth.

Melvin Chew, 43, hawker and owner and operator of Jin Kee Teochew Braised Duck Kway Teow

“I wonder if Singapore is opening up too quickly. Shortly after Singapore reached a VTL arrangement with some European countries, the EU removed us from the list of recommended countries that don’t require quarantine, and Denmark imposed a quarantine on Singapore arrivals. These Are there signs that Singapore may not be ready to open up?

“VTL raises a lot of issues and makes the freedom we experience overseas seem inconsistent with the restrictions in Singapore. Being in VTL means I can gather a large group of friends and hang out with them overseas, but I can’t hang out with more than one person while in Singapore. Friends eat together.

“The recent relaxation of dining restrictions, where up to five people from the same household can dine together, has not benefited food sellers in coffee shops and hawker centers because we have not enjoyed this leeway. In fact, our takeaway business It’s been impacted as families flock to restaurants to celebrate being able to eat out together again.”

bf91ca54 e238 4051 aab0 83a8f9412186 23baafe7
Azimin Saini said that despite local restrictions, some measures in Singapore were still not working and the number of cases continued to rise.

Azimin Saini, 35, editor at a tech startup

“It’s great that Singapore allows people to take ART (Rapid Antigen Test) for COVID-19 testing before flying to Singapore on a VTL flight. This saves people from having to plan a lot of buffer time before flying to get PCR results in time. 上On my first trip to France, I had to queue for three hours for a PCR in order to meet my partner.

“While I’m glad we can travel now, I feel the government can do better. When I came out of quarantine in July after traveling, I was celebrating a birthday with a friend in a bar. With music banned, the atmosphere was depressing — It’s not a good time to live in Singapore. Even though we have a high vaccination rate, Singapore has just returned to the second stage of high alert. I wonder why the government has no foresight if the government’s plan is to live with the new crown virus Zhuoshi came to increase the capacity of the hospital’s intensive care unit to prepare for the surge of cases.

Why are Singaporeans and Malaysians so dissatisfied with foreign food?

“Our case is Rise despite measures, so something doesn’t work. The current restrictions also don’t match the fact that we can travel to a country, go to a club, and then come back to Singapore, where we can only go out to eat with a friend. I think there can be exceptions.

“One idea worth exploring is that a small group of vaccinated friends should be allowed to dine together if they pass the ART test before the meal.”

bf9e3693 5244 4452 b2a3 11c9c6896e8d 23baafe7
Claire Lee doesn’t want to suddenly quarantine abroad if the Covid-19 situation changes.

Claire Lee, 28, membership director at a private club

“I haven’t really followed the VTL news because none of the VTLs belong to the countries I want to go to. Top of my list is Hong Kong, which is still closed.

“I’m also not a big fan of traveling now, as I’ve heard complaints from friends who traveled when VTL first rolled out. Documentation requirements were changed at the last minute with no notice, leading to frantic scrambling and pressure to make the Things are in order.

“With the changing situation of the new crown epidemic, a country may also suddenly impose a quarantine. I don’t want to be disturbed by this when I should be on vacation. So I am more concerned about how open the interior of Singapore is.

“The holidays are coming. I want to go out and eat with more friends.”

dc2d2ac0 d37c 486f 8645 16dd77c5be2a b7009f7b
Gemma Thomas says opening up slowly is the right thing to do.

Gemma Thomas, 42, chemist and freediving instructor

The diving community is very excited to finally be able to go diving overseas. We will start in Malaysia (January) VTLs coming soon (opening November 29), although popular dive destinations such as Tioman Island are in monsoon maybe we’ll go Langkawi First up is Tioman Island at the end of the first quarter.

“Instead of going overland through Johor and then catching a ferry in Mersing, we have to fly to Kuala Lumpur and then drive down, which is more troublesome, but we will adapt. Change makes us more flexible.

“I think opening slowly is the right thing to do. The volume of travel from countries (currently on the VTL list) is small compared to pre-Covid travel. If we open up too quickly, the infrastructure and the people involved will not Deal with the new deal.”

b7e2e85e ce95 4413 8e82 639e092b96a5 d40e4bb7
Foo Wai Beng is cautious about traveling because she is considered a high-risk group.

Foo Wai Beng, 62, Chinese medicine practitioner

“Singapore’s current anti-epidemic measures are very strict. At one time, groups of eight people were allowed to dine. Since we have a high number of cases every day, I think it is better to be cautious.

“Compared to the restrictions we face in the country, the government does appear to be more relaxed in allowing VTL entry into the country. open.

“While I keep following the travel news and miss traveling, I would be cautious about traveling. I am in my 60s and belong to the high-risk group, so I am not keen on long-distance travel now. However, there are not many options for regional travel. I would love to go to Hong Kong, China or Macau, but those places are off-limits to us at the moment.”

02fc0ef7 adc5 4424 8d72 e24602a3935c 5e05f2fa
Ivan Brehm said he has been through a lot as a restaurateur but is looking forward to what’s next.

Ivan Brehm, 38, chef and co-owner of Appetite and Nouri restaurants

“We don’t see VTL tourists in our restaurants because the first tourists who come to Singapore are actually people who have family or work in Singapore.

“I think people are still conservative about eating out. They still remember the second wave after the first lockdown ended. The restaurant industry has borne the brunt of the coronavirus restrictions. While I understand the need for bans and lockdowns, As a business owner, I would like to be able to engage more with foodservice operators and listen to them. There may be a middle ground to some of the steps that have been taken. We’ve been through a lot, but I’m looking forward to what’s next.

“Music has just been allowed in eating places. I hope these two further restrictions will be lifted soon: groups of more than two must dine with people from the same household and no alcohol after 10.30pm.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button