(Bloomberg) -- Singapore has delayed the launch of vaccinated travel lanes with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as a precaution amid concern about the Omicron variant, even as local Covid cases fell to the lowest levels in more than two months.

The postponement of the plans previously scheduled to begin Dec. 6 is “a precautionary measure to reduce the risks of importation and spread,” the health ministry said in Sunday. The government also said it was reviewing border measures and would announce more details soon.

The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are connecting hubs for long-haul air travel to Asia. Singapore’s government cited their proximity as transport points for countries in southern Africa as a factor for the delay, and said it would provide more details on a new launch date for the vaccinated travel lanes at a later date. 

At the same time, Singapore continues to see local Covid cases plunge. The city-state reported a total of 747 new cases of Covid-19 infection as of Nov. 28, the lowest since September 13. 

The weekly infection growth rate in Singapore fell to 0.69, the sharpest week/week decline in cases since Singapore began releasing the number. The ICU utilization rate was 57.4%, meaning more than 4 in 10 ICU beds in the country are unoccupied.

 

 

(Updates with details of travel restrictions throughout)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.