S'pore exploring vaccination cert with several countries, including Australia: Ong Ye Kung

Vaccination is only one of the many aspects that Singapore has to consider, said Ong.

Joshua Lee | April 05, 2021, 02:51 PM

Singapore is exploring the possibility of mutually-recognised vaccination certificates with several countries and places, including Australia, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung today in Parliament (April 5).

"These certificates can be physical or digital, and we will need them to be secure, tamper-proof and verifiable."

However, Ong cautioned that vaccinations make up only one aspect of pandemic control. Social distancing, contact tracing, quarantine facilities, and testing capabilities are important aspects as well.

Much going on behind the scene with regard to travel bubbles

The minister was responding to Member of Parliament Ang Wei Neng, who asked for more details on the digital vaccine passport system between Singapore and Australia, and travel bubble arrangements with countries that have the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

In his reply to a follow-up question on which countries Singapore is currently negotiating travel bubbles with, Ong said that while many public statements are made from time to time, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes.

He added that the government will inform the public when there is significant progress made, and when there are significant things to announce.

Must consider if a country is safe

Ong also said that aside from having a tamper-proof, verifiable vaccination certificate that is mutually recognisable between countries, the first thing to consider is whether a place is safe.

He listed several countries as examples — Brunei, New Zealand, and Australia.

"So that is the first and foremost criteria: Is a place safe?

And if it is moderately safe, then we can talk about with vaccinations — how far do we lower the risks, and what are the relaxation can we accord?"

Top photos by Photoholgic on Unsplash, Shawn Ang on Unsplash