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Australia-Singapore travel bubble plan

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Australia and Singapore have agreed to start work on a plan for a travel bubble that would initially allow students to return.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a brief visit to Singapore on Thursday for talks with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.

It was the first stop for the prime minister on his way to Cornwall for the G7 leaders’ summit, as well as trade and security talks in London and Paris.

Morrison said Singapore had done a “tremendous” job in tackling COVID-19 and it was time to put systems in place to enable the two countries to open up in a similar way to the Australia-New Zealand bubble “when we are both in a position to do so”.

“There is still some time before we reach that milestone but there is nothing impeding us – as we discussed today – from getting on with the job of putting systems in place that will enable such a bubble to emerge between Singapore and Australia,” he said.

“We discussed giving a priority to students from Singapore to be able to return to Australia to complete their studies … and for that to occur sooner rather than later.”

Lee said at the joint media conference the world was now moving into the “next phase of the fight”, in relation to the pandemic.

The “safe and calibrated” air travel bubble would start with mutual recognition of vaccine certificates, he said.

“When ready then we can start small with an air travel bubble to build confidence on both sides,” he said.

-with AAP

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