Singapore is pressing ahead with plans to reopen its borders despite battling a record Covid-19 outbreak, saying it will allow vaccinated travellers from nine more countries including the US and UK to enter without having to quarantine. 

The other places to qualify are Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain with travel to Singapore to start from Oct. 19 and South Korea from Nov. 15, the government said Saturday. The number of Covid tests will be cut from four to two, helping to reduce cost and inconvenience, according to authorities.

The move marks a significant step in Singapore’s reopening after it shifted away from a “Covid Zero” approach that’s still being pursued by the likes of Hong Kong, another Asian financial hub. It comes as Singapore battles an escalation in Covid cases, with more than 3,000 new infections reported four days in a row this week. But is backed by the city-state’s high vaccination rate, with close to 85% of the population fully inoculated and most of the infections mild. 

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