Asia Minute: Australia Talking to Hawaii, Several Countries About Quarantine-Free Travel

Nov 12, 2020

State officials say Australia is among the countries in talks to join Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program. It’s also in touch with several other potential partners to expand international travel slowly.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to increase international travel, but not quite yet.

The country is now in talks with several Asian destinations about opening up quarantine-free visits. Potential partners include Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

New Zealand residents can now go to several states in Australia without restrictions, but the arrangement is NOT mutual.

Australia is still at least months away from taking visitors, and then with a targeted approach.

Prime Minister Morrison told reporters “the situation in Europe and the United States is awful, and obviously that presents great risks for people coming in from those parts of the world to Australia.”

Much closer at hand is a new travel bubble arrangement between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Starting a week from Sunday, there will be one flight a day from each city to the other — with a limit of 200 people per planeload. Singapore’s Transport Minister says if all goes well, that will be increased to two flights a day in early December.

Travelers need to submit negative results from a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding their flights.

Those headed for Hong Kong need another negative test upon their arrival.

Travelers heading to Singapore don’t need a second test, but they are required to download an app used for contact tracing.