With 70% of its population fully vaccinated, this country is starting to ease its COVID restrictions

August 10, 2021, 5:31 AM UTC

Singapore said 70% of its population has been fully vaccinated, and 79% have received at least one dose, giving the city-state one of the best vaccination rates in the world as today it starts to ease social distancing restrictions and restart parts of the economy.

In an effort to vaccinate the rest, the island trade hub said citizens and long-term residents will no longer need to make an appointment to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and can instead walk in to any of the more than two dozen clinics offering it to get a jab. The country earlier this month also made the Moderna vaccine available on a walk-in basis.

Singapore has made “good progress” in its national COVID-19 vaccination program, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. “Vaccination remains a key enabler in our fight against COVID-19. We urge all who are eligible to be vaccinated.”

Singapore today began easing some of its COVID rules, allowing dining in to resume and raising group sizes to five for those who’ve been fully vaccinated. Work from home rules are expected to ease next week.

Singapore will also “very soon” be able to offer vaccinations to short-term visa holders who have been living in Singapore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post.

The first reported virus case in a recent karaoke lounge cluster was of a individual who had entered the country via a short-term visa pass, one of a number of short-term visa holders linked to the outbreak. The cluster sparked a furore about the government’s short-term visa rules as well questions on why those people were ineligible for vaccination.

The country is targeting vaccinating 80% of its population by early September in order to start relaxing some of its toughest restrictions, including allowing quarantine-free travel for vaccinated travelers where frequent testing could replace mandatory stay-home rules on arrival.

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