Singapore in talks with Australia, others on recognition of vaccination certificates

Singapore's Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung (SCREENSHOT: YouTube)
Singapore's Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung (SCREENSHOT: YouTube)

SINGAPORE — Singapore is exploring with several countries and regions, including Australia, on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday (5 April).

Speaking in Parliament, Ong said the certificates can be physical or digital, and they have to be secure, tamper-proof, and verifiable.

But Ong said vaccinations are only one aspect of pandemic control. He added, “Social distancing, contact tracing, quarantine, and testing are also very important aspects which countries and regions have used to control the spread of COVID-19 virus even as vaccines become available.”

Singapore will continue to evaluate the global COVID-19 situation and explore the possibility of restoring air travel when it is safe to do so.

“We have been proactively doing so given the importance of our global connections,” said Ong.

Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary noted that most countries have only just started their vaccination drives and said that Singapore's border measures will take into account other factors, such as the number of COVID-19 cases and the infection control measures implemented in the source countries.

"Hence, progress on cross-border recognition of vaccine certification may take some time. We will provide further updates when there is significant progress," he added.

Proof of vaccination status in Singapore 'easy'

Dr Janil said that the Ministry of Health will be releasing further information, when ready, on how individuals in Singapore can show their valid vaccination status when ready.

"We will make it easy and convenient to prove one's vaccination status, including for persons without smartphones," he added.

He also noted that measures required for the unvaccinated are generally based on public health considerations to prevent infection, and so authorities would not distinguish between those who choose not to be vaccinated, and those who are not medically eligible.

Authorities at a 24 March COVID-19 press briefing announced that from 24 April, those who have completed their full vaccination regimen and have had two weeks since their last dose to develop sufficient protection will be allowed to skip pre-event COVID-19 testing at events that require it.

Broader guidelines would also be made for vaccinated individuals, apart from exempting them from pre-event testing procedures.

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