Scott Morrison met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday where, among other things, the two leaders finally committed to something that’s been dangled in front of our noses for months now: a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore.
That’s right. Pretty soon we could all be sipping Singapore slings (or downing Tigers, if you’re so inclined) while lounging by the infinity pool atop the Marina Bay Sands hotel.
“The Prime Ministers acknowledged the importance of open borders to the post-pandemic recovery and committed to resuming two-way cross-border travel when the public health situation in both countries permits,” Morison and Lee said in a joint statement.
“They welcomed the ongoing discussions between border, health, transport, and other officials to identify detailed operational requirements for COVID-19-safe travel, including discussions on health and vaccination certificates.
“They also discussed cooperating on welcoming the return of Singaporean students to Australia to continue with their studies.”
Singapore actually opened its borders to Aussies already, but because there was no two-way travel bubble arrangement, that previous announcement counted for zilch in the scheme of things.
The bad news this time is that this travel bubble is still partially contingent on our COVID vaccine rollout which, in case you haven’t noticed, has been like a continent-sized pitch drop experiment.
“There is still some time before we reach that milestone,” Morrison admitted.
“But there is nothing impeding us from getting on with the job of putting systems in place that will enable such a bubble to emerge between Singapore and Australia, as it does, now, occur between Australia and New Zealand.”
Still, the fact that the two leaders both committed themselves to opening a travel bubble is great news not only for Aussies with dusty passports, but also people in both countries who study, work or have family in the other country.
“Before COVID-19 many Singaporeans travelled to Australia for business, for holidays, and to peruse their education, and vice versa,” Lee said.
“We need to resume these people to people flows to maintain our close and excellent bilateral relationship.”
We’re not saying to pack your bags just yet… but like… maybe psych yourself up to pack them sometime in the near future.