In Singapore mainstream media is controlled or even owned by the government. An example of what that can lead to - and this is a harmless example – is this a recent article about Phuket opening up…
The headline looks objective enough stating that travellers will likely not be willing to pay for the compulsory covid test they will have to take before travelling. However, what is the cost of a test on a week holiday? That’s only a small price compared to the trip itself and can hardly be the real reason for not travelling.
The real reason - and the elephant in the room that the government and main stream media avoid talking about - is that going to Phuket is easy and cheap, coming back is not. Simply because Singapore makes it close to impossible to come back into the country. If you’re a citizen or permanent resident you can come back but have to be quarantined for 2 weeks. If you’re here on a work- or employment-pass you cannot come back into the country at all.
On top of that the word quarantine is avoided, instead it’s called Stay Home Notice or even more obscurely referred to as ‘SHN’… the thing is though you’re not at home at all but in solitary confinement in a government facility at your own costs. That’s often a good hotel but who wants – after a week holiday on Phuket – be locked up (food is brought to the room and you’re not allowed to leave your room) for 2 weeks at your own costs?
That all even if you’re fully vaccinated and test negative.
Welcome to Singapore….
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Fixer, traveller, writer and founder of TheNeighbour