As Thailand’s government continues to figure out the best way to reopen to foreign visitors, Singapore has chosen a mobile travel pass. Singapore will accept the International Air Transport Association (IATA) mobile travel pass for vaccinated travellers.
Travelers will get clearance to fly to and enter Singapore by showing a (IATA) mobile travel pass on their smartphone application that contains their data from accredited laboratories.
The (IATA) mobile travel pass was successfully tested by Singapore Airlines . More than 20 carriers, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines, are also testing the pass.
“The success of our joint efforts will make IATA’s partnership with the government of Singapore a model for others to follow,” IATA director general Willie Walsh said in a statement.
Asian business hub Singapore, which has had relatively few coronavirus cases this year, has been a leader in developing and using technology during the pandemic and wants to be among the first countries to reopen to host international events.
Airlines are hoping more countries will approve digital passes on apps to allow travel to resume faster and avoid complications and delays at airports where multiple checks on documents are required.
Currently, travellers from most countries are required to take pre-departure Covid-19 swab tests within 72 hours of their flights in order to travel to Singapore, with results presented at airport check-in and on arrival.
Travel bubble with Singapore
Meanwhile, Thailand is looking into setting up a travel bubble with Singapore. Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry will discuss the idea this week with officials from the Singapore Embassy.
Tourism officials are also looking at potential travel bubbles with other neighbouring countries with a low number of active Covid-19 cases, such as Vietnam and Laos, according to sports and tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
“We have acknowledged that Singapore has previously run the travel bubble with Australia and New Zealand. If Singapore agrees to run the scheme with Thailand as well, we would probably be able to receive tourists from Australia and New Zealand, in addition to Singaporeans.”
Phiphat is also pushing to open the country up to visitors from the Middle East, adding that many have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Thailand is slowly reopening to vaccinated foreign visitors. The quarantine period has been cut down to 7 days for vaccinated visitors arriving in Thailand.
According to The Thaiger, Phuket is set to reopen in July under the “sandbox” model where vaccinated visitors can travel to the island without undergoing quarantine (if the local population can reach a level of 70% vaccination in the next 2 months).