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Following the NZ travel bubble, Australia looks to open the border to Asia

Rejoice! Following the establishment of a safe travel zone with New Zealand, Asian holidays could be on the cards by winter.

Get your ski gear ready because immigration and health authorities are discussing plans to open up to Singapore within a few months, potentially followed by Japan and South Korea – although daily COVID-19 case numbers in these countries are higher.

Following on from the trans-Tasman bubble, the Morrison government has indicated that Aussies could be able to travel to these Asian and Pacific destinations without having to go through a quarantine period by August.

Jacinda trans-tasman travel bubble
Image: KPBS

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said New Zealand’s decision to start two-way travel was “an important first step”, and that it was “tremendous” that the borders would be open before Anzac Day. “This is the first of many more steps to come, I believe, as we get back to a more normal position, not only over the course of this year but beyond,” Mr Morrison said.

 

When asked which countries could be next, the PM said: “we have looked at places like Singapore and Japan and South Korea and countries like this, but at this stage we are not in a position to move forward on any of those”. 

Trans-Tasman bubble guidelines
Image: newshub.co.nz

In Singapore Parliament on Monday, Singapore Transport Minister, Ong Ye Kung was asked about plans for travel bubbles and mentioned Australia, New Zealand and Brunei as leading candidates.

“We are exploring with several countries and regions, including Australia, on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. The certificates can be physical or digital, and we will need them to be secure, tamper-proof and verifiable,” he said.

“However, vaccinations are only one aspect of pandemic control. Social distancing, contact tracing, quarantine and testing are also very important aspects which countries and regions have used to control the spread of [the] COVID-19 virus even as vaccines become available.”

It sounds as though a vaccination certificate is somewhat of a Golden Ticket to get into the chocolate factory or in this case, The Raffles Hotel.