RONALD LEE: In its haste to open the borders to foreign travellers, is the government shirking safety measures and compromising Singaporeans’ health?
Transport Minister S Iswaran has announced quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Germany.
The elephant in the room is the problem of free movement of people across Schengen states.
To put it simply, there are over 20 countries that are considered as Schengen states in Europe, and people across these states can move from one country to another without visa restrictions.
Besides Germany, high-risk Covid-19 nations such as France, Italy and Spain are also Schengen states.
Such is their close proximity and ease of movement across borders that France and Germany, together with Switzerland, even share a common airport (EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg).
So, what’s stopping entry of populations from high-risk nations from entering Singapore through Germany?
The Transport Ministry does not appear to have an adequate answer to this question.
The ICA has also announced that from today, tamper-proof vaccination stickers will be affixed onto the passport of newly arrived travellers who are fully vaccinated overseas with a WHO-Emergency Use Listing (EUL) vaccine.
Yet, it has not assured Singaporeans that measures are in place to ensure the authenticity of these vaccination certificates.
Just like fake degrees from certain “South Asian” countries, there is raging black market for fake vaccination certificates.
So, without proper preparation, the government is prepared to hastily open the borders and risk further lockdowns that hurt Singaporean businesses and Singaporeans’ health?
Sounds like a plan.