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Asia Minute: Travel Appetites Can Depend on Rules of Home Country

AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

We’re now less than two weeks away from the date when Hawaii will open the door to visitors a bit wider. As the state continues to refine the points of pre-travel testing, other destinations are finding some complications when it comes to visitors.

Just because you roll out the welcome carpet, it doesn’t necessarily mean international travelers will rush in to visit.

Singapore is the latest country to witness this fact of the ongoing pandemic.

In less than a week, Singapore will allow visitors from Vietnam and most of Australia to enter the country, but they may not get many takers. The reason is not anything going on in Singapore, but because of policies of the travelers’ own governments.

In both cases, they would face a mandatory two-week quarantine when they go home.

At this point, Australians even need permission to travel overseas before they leave their country. Visitors from Brunei and New Zealand have been allowed into Singapore since last month.

Potentially of more interest locally, Japan is also taking a cautious approach to international visitors — with some exceptions, most are not yet allowed into the country. And any Japanese nationals coming from overseas face some further steps at home — whether it’s moving back after living abroad or returning from a vacation — in a place like Hawaii.

All returning citizens require a negative COVID test and a 14-day quarantine.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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