Singapore opens up to more Taiwanese tourism

Singapore Merlion Park downtown Singapore business district at sunrise

Singapore’s casino sector will soon have a new source of potential visitors, as the small city-state has decided to lift border restrictions for travelers from Taiwan. With some necessary safety checks, Taiwanese visitors can start visiting Singapore starting December 18.

Singapore Merlion Park downtown Singapore business district at sunrise

Taiwan has no new Covid-19 infections reported in the last 28 days. That made it a perfect travel partner, said Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung. He declared Taiwan a “very safe partner to do a unilateral opening.”

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) agreed with the assessment, declaring that Taiwan had “a comprehensive public health surveillance system and has displayed successful control over the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”

If you don’t live in Taiwan, don’t get any fancy ideas. The CAAS has noted that anyone coming from Taiwan must have spent the previous 14 consecutive days there, and may only arrive “on direct flights without transit.” They must also take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, download the “TraceTogether” tracing app and apply for an “Air Travel Pass.” But assuming they test negative for the virus, visitors won’t have to quarantine.

Seeing as this was a unilateral decision on Singapore’s end, they warn that travelers should “check the entry requirements imposed by Taiwan and take the necessary precautionary measures.” But Singapore will allow you to return to Taiwan when your trip is over.

That being said, Taiwan recently reduced their own restrictions for Singapore, reducing quarantine periods for “essential business travelers” to just five days. Assuming Singapore keeps its own Covid-19 infection rate down, one would hope those restrictions are reduced further.

Singapore has also lifted border restrictions for Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, New Zealand and Vietnam. It has also had a travel bubble agreement with Hong Kong since late November, but has yet to begin the program due to rising Covid-19 rates in the Chinese special administration region.

Singapore has two casino resorts, the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. The former was the only positive in Las Vegas Sands portfolio for Q3 2020, bringing in $70 million but falling 84% year over year. Resorts World also realized a profit of $40.4 million, but also fell 66% compared to 2019. Both resorts have tried to shift to locals to keep profits coming in, but have seen declining numbers overall due to safety precautions and general lack of interest, making more international visitors a priority.