External aspects involve the COVID-19 situation in the traveller’s country, including any surge in cases, the prevalence of virus variants and vaccination rates.
Nevertheless, Professor Dale Fisher, senior consultant at the National University Hospital’s (NUH) infectious diseases division, said Denmark’s decision “makes no scientific sense”.
“The time for border controls has long passed in all but a few countries, where internal social restrictions also remain strong as COVID zero strategies remain in place, awaiting adequate vaccine coverage,” he said.
Once there is significant community transmission in a country, the only purpose of border restrictions is to limit the entry of unvaccinated people, as they could stress the health system, he said.
“Denmark actually has the same community case rate as Singapore at just over 3,000 cases per million population per week. So in reality a Dane is much more likely to contract COVID from Denmark than a traveller from Singapore.”
Prof Fisher added: “It is extremely inconvenient for a small number of people with plans and undermines public faith in the global direction of the pandemic exit strategy.”
I WANT TO BOOK TICKETS, HOW SHOULD I PREPARE?
Given the fluidity of the situation, flexible itineraries are key for those looking to travel, said experts.
Ms Lina Ang, managing director of APAC at travel digital marketing platform Sojern, said: “Don’t get yourself tied to any bookings (air or accommodation) that cannot be amended or cancelled in these current times. Flexible booking policies are key!”
Ms Kelly Toh, head of marketing and public relations at CTC Travel, also noted: “It is recommended to plan and book your trip earlier, and purchase travel insurance upon flight booking.”
“Insurance is an absolute necessity in case one gets stranded for an extended stay or worse, gets infected and needs hospitalisation,” added Mr Shukor Yusof, the founder of aviation research firm Endau Analytics.
But the travel experts also said one should check if the insurance covers COVID-19 and changes due to government travel advisories.