In the coming weeks, travelers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to fly to nine additional countries and return without being quarantined, marking the Republic’s most significant action to reopen its borders to far.
Travel to Singapore will be simplified as well, with travelers using the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) system simply requiring two Covid-19 swab tests instead of the current four.
A on-arrival and pre-departure and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test are the two options.
Vaccinated travelers will be eligible to fly to the Netherlands, Canada, France, Italy, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States beginning October 19.
The initiative will be expanded to South Korea starting November 15, according to the Ministry of Transport (Oct 8). Under the VTL program, visitors from the nine nations would be permitted to enter Singapore without being quarantined.
During a news conference held by the multi-ministerial task team dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic on Saturday, Transport Minister S Iswaran announced the update on Singapore border procedures.
The nine nations are either available to visitors from Singapore presently or will be by the time the VTL begins. This would enable Singaporeans to travel, even for pleasure, and return without having to submit a Stay-Home Notice.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) stated in a statement that it decided to expand the plan in a “prudent and step-by-step” way in order to reclaim and restore Singapore’s standing as a global aviation hub with global connections.
Only two imported cases were reported out of a total of 1,926 tourists from Germany and Brunei who arrived through the VTL system as of October 8. Both were discovered as soon as they arrived.
“We will expand the VTL to nine more countries based on the experience and confidence garnered through the VTL for Brunei Darussalam and Germany,” CAAS added.
The nine new nations are categorized as Category II border risk countries by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The categorization is divided into four groups, with nations in Category I having the lowest risk of Covid-19 infections and countries in Category IV having the greatest risk.
Travelers who enter Singapore via the VTL system will only have to take a pre-departure exam 48 hours before their flight and an on-arrival test starting October 19.
Travellers would no longer be required to undergo the Covid-19 PCR swab test on their third and seventh days in Singapore.
According to CAAS, “the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) public health evaluation is that the pre-departure test and on-arrival test offer appropriate precautions for recognizing and isolating imported Covid-19 cases.”
“The elimination of the Day 3 and Day 7 PCR tests will assist VTL travelers save money while also improving convenience.”
To enter Singapore under the VTL program, short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass. However, fully vaccinated Singapore citizens and permanent residents would be allowed to use the VTL system without the need to apply for a permit.
Applications for VTL travel from South Korea will open at 10 a.m. on November 8 for entrance into Singapore on or after November 15. The application period for the remaining eight nations will begin on October 12 at 10 a.m. On or after October 19, travelers will be permitted to enter Singapore.
All visitors entering Singapore under the VTL will be subject to a set of regulations.
From October 19, VTL travelers must have spent the previous 14 days in one or more of the VTL countries before departing for Singapore.
“If the traveler has been in Singapore within the recent 14 days, his or her visit in Singapore may be used to satisfy this 14-day travel history requirement,” CAAS said.
A visitor who planned to depart Singapore on October 10, fly to the United Kingdom, then to France and Spain before returning on a VTL trip on October 19 is an example of this.
VTL travelers from other countries will be required to test negative in both pre-departure and on-arrival tests. They’ll have to stay in Singapore until the results of their on-arrival test are proven to be negative.
CAAS said that all VTL travelers must be completely vaccinated and have evidence of immunization. They must be immunized in a VTL-accredited nation or Singapore.
Travelers who enter Singapore via the VTL program must also fly on authorized VTL aircraft. Airlines will shortly provide more information on these trips.
Short-term travelers who need a visa to enter Singapore must apply for one individual. This should be done after they have been granted entry and before they leave for Singapore.
Prior to traveling to Singapore, they must buy travel insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 for Covid-19-related medical care and hospitalization expenditures.
This page has further information on the VTL requirements in Singapore.