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HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 4 September 2020

Singapore to Launch Green Lane for Essential Travel to South Korea and Brunei

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore has announced that a fast lane for residents of Singapore and South Korea will open on 4 September 2020 for those who need to make essential business or official trips between both countries. Likewise, Singapore and Brunei have also agreed to establish a fast lane to facilitate essential business and official travel between both countries.

This comes after Singapore announced last month that it would ease border restrictions to allow general travel to and from Brunei and New Zealand from 1 September 2020. Eligible travellers will have to abide by the mutually agreed terms and public health measures in the respective countries. These include precautions in the form of pre-departure and post-arrival testing, and the need to adhere to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days in the receiving country.

For applicants travelling from Singapore to Brunei, and vice versa, the receiving enterprise or government agency in either country need to apply for a travel pass – SafeTravel Pass for Singapore, and Entry Travel Pass for Brunei – on their behalf to obtain an approval letter to enter their host country.

Vietnam to Resume Flights from Six Asian Destinations for Business Travel

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (“CAAV”) is proposing resuming flights to and from six Asian cities from 15 September as Vietnam moves to ease business travel restrictions. The cities include Guangzhou, Seoul, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Taipei and Tokyo.

This will translate into approximately 5,000 travellers arriving each week. CAAV is proposing that travellers arriving in Vietnam must have been in these Asian destinations for at least 30 days prior to boarding the flight and transit passengers will not be allowed in. Upon arrival, it is mandatory to undergo two weeks of quarantine, according to health ministry requirements, unless the duration of their visit is under 14 days. However, Vietnam has not reopened to tourists.

Indonesia Trade Bodies to Spearhead Tourism Recovery

The Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (“IHRA”) and Indonesia Air Carriers Association (“INACA”) have agreed to conceptualise attractive travel packages in a bid to boost domestic consumption.

The memorandum of understanding (“MoU”) was signed in Bali by the chairmen of both associations. Similarly, earlier in Jakarta, Indonesia AirAsia CEO, Veranita Sinaga, alongside Denon and airport authority dignitaries, launched the Waktunya Terbang (Time to Fly) campaign at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Both events were part of the INACA-IHRA Safe Travel Campaign series to boost travel confidence and stimulate domestic travel. The campaign series was launched on 6 August in Bali, followed by Medan and Yogyakarta, before returning to Bali again. Each edition sees INACA and IHRA partnering with a different airline. Haryadi, chairman of IHRA, shared that the cooperation will focus on two components to lift plane load factors and boost hotel occupancy – bolster travellers’ confidence to fly again and provide affordable travel packages.

To provide affordable travel, both associations plan to create flight and hotel bundle packages for both solo and group travellers, which would be accessible through the websites of all participating airlines and hotels.

Japan to Gradually Ease Some Travel Border Restrictions

The Japanese government has permitted foreign visa holders to re-enter Japan starting from 1 September 2020. More than 2.6 million foreign residents of Japan who hold valid visas will be able to leave and re-enter the country with compliance to health measures.

Entrants must serve a mandatory two-week quarantine in their home or at a designated hotel. Foreign residents in this group include permanent residents, spouses, family members of Japanese citizens and exchange students, professionals, and foreign workers. Foreign national visa-holder who leaves after 1 September with the intention of re-entry will be required to provide an immigration receipt at the time of departure. The receipt, once verified, will allow re-entry within a specific time.

This measure came after Japan has reached bilateral agreements with several countries to permit business travel. These countries include Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. From 8 September, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar are set to resume travel for long-term residents with Japan, with precautionary measures, including a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival. Dating back to 22 August, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Japan had also announced that those holding valid visas to reside in China could apply for renewal starting 1 September.

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