Singapore to allow transit flights from June 2 as restrictions eased – dpa international

dpa

Singapore harbour seen from Marina Bay, a popular vantage point for visitors (Simon Roughneen)

Singapore harbour seen from Marina Bay, a popular vantage point for visitors (Simon Roughneen)

KUALA LUMPUR — Singapore will permit some international passengers to transit through Changi Airport from June 2 as restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus are gradually lifted.

Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Wednesday that the city-state aims to “gradually reopen air transport to meet the needs of our economy and our people, whilst ensuring sufficient safeguards for safe travel.”

Changi Airport is a widely-used hub for travellers making their way to and from the Asia-Pacific region. Authorities closed two of its four terminals after international travel came to a standstill in the wake of the pandemic and Singapore’s ban on visitors and transit.

Last week, Singapore Airlines, the national carrier, announced its first-ever annual loss in its 48-year history after grounding most of its fleet due to the pandemic.

Wednesday’s announcement comes after the government said on Tuesday that a lockdown – officially known as a “circuit breaker” – will be gradually lifted as scheduled from June 1, though there is no timetable for allowing visitors to enter Singapore.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday reported one “community” coronavirus case, suggesting that its spread has been contained outside of a major outbreak in foreign worker residences.

“The circuit breaker has worked, and our situation is improving,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday.

Of Singapore’s 29,364 confirmed coronavirus cases, more than 27,000 have been reported among foreign workers.

On Wednesday the Health Ministry announced 570 new infections – “the vast majority” in dormitories housing more than 300,000 migrants.

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