Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Nov 14) called on Australia and New Zealand to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ease border restrictions, saying this will facilitate the resumption of economic activity as the COVID-19 pandemic stabilises.
Mr Lee was speaking at separate virtual summits involving ASEAN and the two countries.
"The reopening of our borders in a safe and calibrated manner will facilitate the resumption of economic activity, and is an important confidence marker for our peoples and businesses," said Mr Lee at the second ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit.
He noted that Singapore has lifted border restrictions to allow visitors from Australia, adding that he hopes Australia will also ease its own border restrictions "in good time".
In a similar message during the ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders Summit, Mr Lee said the two sides should progressively and safely lift current travel restrictions.
"This is a critical enabler of our economic recovery, and will signal to the rest of the world that ASEAN and its partners are open for business," he said.
Singapore lifted border restrictions to visitors from New Zealand because it has done "a commendable job" controlling the spread of COVID-19.
"(Singapore) Iooks forward to New Zealand similarly lifting its restrictions on cross border travel as soon as it is ready to do so," said Mr Lee.