Singapore will pilot quarantine-free travel lanes for vaccinated passengers next month from Germany and Brunei and open up to visitors from Hong Kong and Macau in its first big move yet to lift border restrictions that have been in place since early in the pandemic.

In what are the highly anticipated first steps of the city’s reopening, travellers from Germany and Brunei can enter Singapore from Sept 8 without the need to have a purpose for visiting and controlled itinerary or sponsor requirements, officials said during a press briefing in the city-state Thursday.

While Singapore is easing restrictions on inbound travel from Hong Kong, the two financial hubs won’t go ahead with plans for an air travel bubble, the governments said. Their strategies for containing Covid have diverged -- Hong Kong is still pursuing a Covid-zero eradication path, while Singapore seeks to reopen with a backstop of one of the world’s best vaccination rates.

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