Live with it.
As vaccination programs advance and more local populations are protected from hospitalization and severe illness from Covid-19, countries are shifting policies from lockdown to policies that control outbreaks while permitting life to go on.
Planning is underway for what comes next. Singapore’s first quarantine-free flight arrived from Germany this week amidst an uptick in cases in what will surely be a case study for others. In addition, more countries are investigating or planning to implement some form of vaccine certificates or vaccine passports. China was the first to launch a program with Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan developing their own. Each country has individual requirements that range from vaccine proof for travel and/or entrance to local public places to electronic storage for evidence of negative test results.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been working with member states for months to create a regional vaccine passport. It seems prepped to have more success with the upcoming ASEAN Visa. This visa-waiver program will work similarly to the one in Europe, permitting travel to all Schengen Area. The list of nationalities who can apply for the ASEAN tourist visa is not yet finalized. So far, the following countries have agreed to participate: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Hong Kong, which is not yet adopting a co-living with the virus strategy, will start the delayed Return2HK program on 8 September. This program permits a quoted number of Hong Kong residents to be exempted from mandatory quarantine when arriving from Mainland China or Macau. On 15 September, it will also launch the Come2HK scheme, a quarantine-free travel program for non-residents of Hong Kong in Macau and specified locations in Mainland China. This program will apply to expatriates as well. Unfortunately, quarantine rules remain applicable for the return trip as of now.
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