When can we hit the road again?

Read in German

This post has been a draft for months, and I couldn’t finish it. On the one hand, because I didn’t really have any useful information and on the other hand as I didn’t want to jinx it. Now that we have July and with borders shut down for months (from March 24 to be exact), I feel that there’s not going to be any right timing to ask “when can we travel again?”. People in Singapore and especially expats, assume that there will not be any traveling out and into Singapore for at least this year. Like 2020 is lost already, even though we have July. For me and my rational part, this is hard to believe, especially since Singapore’s tourism industry was pummeled heavily by travel bans and imposed lockdowns. By S$ 4 billion only in this year’s first quarter to be exact again. And while hotel operators said they are glad to be able to reopen for staycations these days, they also recognize that this is only a short-term survival strategy. One might think that the battled tourism industry and relatively steady community cases are reason enough to think of a border reopening. However, there’s just been an announcement by the government that leisure travel is not likely to happen anytime soon, maybe even not at all in 2020.

That is a real bummer for my travel heart, but especially for this blog and the little business that I try to create with it. And it also makes me doubt whether the decision to move to Singapore was the right one as the main reason was frankly the excellent travel hub. With borders being shut for more than half of the time we’ve lived here, I am afraid I might get cabin fever in this tiny city-state that is actually smaller than the city I was born and raised. At the same time, it is tough to see family and friends in Europe being back on the road again as if there wasn’t any pandemic happening while I miss them and traveling dearly. Tough times. Anyway, I can’t help it, and I have to make the best of it. As I cannot go anywhere right now, the primary purpose of this blog (traveling) is not really giving me content anytime soon, which is why I started to write an expat diary that only existed in German before. Also, I will use the time to explore Singapore and its neighborhoods, and luckily, there are still many things to see.

Please let me know in the comment sections if there is anything you would like to read and see more on this blog. I am open to your suggestions!

In the meantime, I will summarize in the following the news concerning traveling from Singapore:

  • In Singapore, there is still a travel ban, and borders are closed. Currently, only Singaporeans, PRs and Long-Term-Pass-Holders are allowed to enter Singapore (after seeking approval) and are required to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities after entering Singapore, and undergo a COVID-19 test. Recently, so-called “staycations” have been allowed in some selected hotels, which will pave the way to better the financial health of our industry but can only be a short-term survival strategy. More information

  • Malaysia and Singapore are targeting to start cross-border travel from August 10 for some residents and business visitors. Officials of both countries are still finalizing the standard operating procedures of both the Reciprocal Green Lane and Periodic Commuting Arrangement schemes. However, it is not likely leisure traveling is included. More information

  • The UAE has not yet announced the reopening of its borders to foreign visitors on a federal level. However, regular outbound flights for citizens and residents resumed last month. More information

  • The Maldives reopened its tourist resorts on July 15, with visitors not required to be tested or carry virus-free certificates. However, free tests are offered on arrival and departure. So far, Qatar Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, and Etihad have scheduled flights to the Maldives in July. Several other airlines said they would resume flights from August, including Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Gulf Air, India’s IndiGo, and Hong Kong Airlines. Edelweiss is planning to operate direct flights between Zurich and Male from late September, while Turkish Airlines is expected to resume flights from Istanbul via Colombo from October. More information

  • Thailand has set up a COVID-19 testing laboratory inside Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport that will analyze on-site swab tests on arriving passengers. Borders are expected to be open for international travel in October. However, Thailand has just tightened its borders after concerns surged over a possible second wave of coronavirus infections. More information

  • Jordan announced on Thursday (July 16) it will partially resume commercial flights from August to a limited number of European and Asian countries on an internationally approved safe list. More information

Norway will lift travel restrictions to and from more than 20 European countries from July 15, including France, Germany, and Britain. More information

Time Out Magazine is summarizing all airlines plans and also country’s border lifting, I personally find this, and this article very helpful.


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