Singapore will lift restrictions for all vaccinated travelers from next week, Prime Minister of the Southeast Asian city-state Lee Hsien Loong announced on Thursday.

He took the opportunity to salute a “major step” for the air hub in its strategy of coexistence with Covid-19.

Lifted from April 1

The region has been slower than Europe or North America to lift restrictions.

But Indonesia also announced this week the end of quarantine for travelers, after Australia and New Zealand, while Malaysia will take the plunge in early April.

From April 1, vaccinated adults and unvaccinated children may be allowed to enter Singapore, the gateway to many countries in Asia Pacific, without quarantine, with only a test carried out before departure.

An economic boost

The reopening of the country will "reconnect Singapore with the world", the Prime Minister said on television.

"This will provide a much-needed boost to businesses, especially those in tourism, and help Singapore regain its position as an aviation and economic hub."

The measures for residents of the city-state have also been relaxed, with the end of compulsory masks outside and groups of up to ten people authorized, compared to only five previously.

Goal Covid zero

Singapore moved from a zero Covid target to a more flexible policy last year when the vast majority of its population was vaccinated.

This approach contrasts with that of Hong Kong, an airline hub and competing financial center in Asia, where travelers must still undergo lengthy quarantines upon arrival.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam defended Hong Kong's attitude on Thursday, stressing that "the policies and measures adopted by each country to combat Covid differ", and assured that the island remained an "attractive" financial center.

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