S'poreans may get to travel overseas again after Oct. 2021, if vaccination rates keep improving

Some hope.

Sulaiman Daud | June 10, 2021, 07:00 PM

The Multi-ministry Task Force offered Singaporeans a glimmer of hope on June 10, especially those who have been longing to travel overseas.

During the press conference, MTF co-chair and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong shared some updates on Singapore's vaccination figures.

Speaking of the measures in place for Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), Wong said that the restrictions in Singapore and tight controls at the borders are necessary, until vaccination rates are higher.

Not there yet, but will get there soon

He cited the example of America, with over 40 per cent having been given two doses of the vaccine, and with about 10 per cent having been infected with Covid-19, giving an approximate immunity of about 50 per cent of the population. With that, infection rates are steadily going down.

Wong said, "We are not there yet, but we will get there soon. We expect 50 per cent of people in Singapore to be fully vaccinated in August. And by October, we should reach an overall vaccination rate of 75 per cent, or hopefully more."

As Singapore progresses through these stages, restrictions will gradually be eased, both within Singapore and at the borders.

However, Singaporeans should be focused, remain united and work together to continue this positive progress.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung shared that over 2.5 million people in Singapore, or about 44 per cent of the population, has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

"And we are now vaccinating about 49,000 doses on a daily basis, and we have the capacity to maintain this acceleration of our vaccine rollout provided our supplies are steady and continue to arrive," he said.

About 74 per cent of seniors have received at least one dose of the vaccine or have booked an appointment for vaccination.

Relaxations for travel might happen once enough people fully vaccinated

In a press statement from the Ministry of Health on the same day, it was stated that vaccination is a key component of Singapore's plans to re-open safely, once a high level of the population has been vaccinated.

MOH urged everyone eligible for vaccination to do so once it is offered, and added:

"Further relaxations such as for group and event sizes, capacity limits, distancing requirements, mask-wearing and travel (emphasis ours) will be introduced when a sufficient proportion of the population has been fully vaccinated, especially for those who are vaccinated."

While MOH did not specify what constitutes a "sufficient proportion of the population" in their statement, and Wong did not explicitly state that 75 per cent of the population (fully-vaccinated) will be enough to relax travel restrictions, it may offer a rough estimate of the threshold necessary to restart flying again.

Top image from Changi Airport Facebook page.