Singapore and Australia are working to create an air traffic bubble. Photo: iStock

Singapore and Australia will work to create an air traffic bubble between the two countries, their prime ministers said Thursday after more than a year of travel disruption from the pandemic.

“We discussed how the round-trip traffic between Singapore and Australia can finally be resumed in a safe and calibrated manner when both sides are ready,” said Singapore President Lee Hsien Loong at a joint press conference with Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

Singapore announced in March that the two nations were discussing plans for quarantine-free travel.

Both Singapore and Australia have avoided the major coronavirus outbreaks in many counties, with total cases of just over 62,000 and 30,000 respectively.

Lee said infrastructure and processes for resumption of travel need to be put in place, starting with mutual recognition of health and vaccination certificates.

“When all the preparations are in place, we can start small with an air travel bubble to build trust on both sides,” he said.

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Morrison is the first foreign leader to pay an official visit to the city-state since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. On his way to the UK for the G7 summit, he stopped in Singapore.

The leaders’ discussions also included a possible fintech bridge and exploration of an agreement on a green economy.

Morrison said he welcomed the countries working together to put the systems in place so that a bubble can emerge between them.

However, he said, “It will be some time before we reach this milestone.”


June 11, 2021