Singapore and Japan on Friday announced the launch of a green lane on September 18 for essential business and official travel for residents from both the countriesĀ in compliance with health guidelines amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement, the foreign affairs ministries of both the countries said that the Business Track arrangement will help restore connectivity and support economic recovery for Japan and Singapore.

The Business Track will allow the safe resumption of cross-border travel and business exchanges with the necessary public health safeguards in place, the statement said. These safeguards include pre-departure and post-arrival testing, as well as the need to adhere to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days in the receiving country, it said. Meanwhile, Singapore reported 87 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including 14 imported infections, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

With this, the national tally of Coronavirus cases has reached 57,316. Among the 73 cases residing in dormitories for foreign workers, 33 are from Avery Lodge Dormitory. The majority of cases had been placed in quarantine earlier and were tested during the period to determine their status, MOH said. The remaining cases were detected through surveillance testing, such as bi-weekly rostered routine testing.

‘France witnessing clear worsening’

France is seeing an acceleration of the COVID-19 outbreak after a surge in infections, but aims to avoid any new nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday. “There is a clear worsening of the spread of COVID-19, which has not lowered in intensity and will be with us for some months,” he said. But he did not announce any major new restrictions, saying France’s aim is to “succeed in living with the virus with social distancing”.

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