This story was first published on July 26, 2021, and updated on October 15, 2021.
Singapore has announced that it will extend its vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme to include more countries. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (November 15) that the country will launch VTLs with India and Indonesia from November 29, and with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from December 6.
Applications for short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will start on November 22 for travellers from India and Indonesia. Travellers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE can apply from November 29. Fully vaccinated returning Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents do not need to apply if they are travelling via the VTL.
To date, Singapore has launched VTLs with Australia, Canada and Germany and has plans to launch VTLs with Malaysia, Finland, and Sweden.
October 9: Singapore announced that it will be expanding the VTL scheme to include more countries as well as allowing unvaccinated children up to the age of 12 to travel under the scheme as long as they are accompanied by a vaccinated and eligible traveller.
These countries previously announced include Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the United States.
The VTL with South Korea launched on October 9.
The purpose of this scheme is to allow fully vaccinated passengers to travel to and from Singapore without the need to serve a quarantine provided that they go through a few Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
The first countries to fall under this scheme were Germany and Brunei which saw a successful launch on September 8. In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said it had 1,926 visitors from Germany and Brunei as of October 8 and that only two imported cases were detected and dealt with on arrival.
Travellers can use this scheme to travel for leisure, business or to visit family, according to the CAAS. They will also not need to serve a Stay-Home Notice upon returning to Singapore.
All travellers hoping to make use of the VTL will need to be fully vaccinated which means they would have had received either the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna vaccines or other vaccines on the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing. They also have to wait for two weeks before they can be considered fully vaccinated.
However, unvaccinated children up to the age of 12 will be allowed to travel under the VTL scheme as long as they are accompanied by a vaccinated traveller who meets all the requirements, according to the CAAS in a statement on October 11.
Travellers, including children, will need to take a pre-departure test 48 hours before their flight and an on-arrival test. They will need to isolate themselves until they get a confirmed negative test.
They will also no longer need to take a Covid-19 PCR test on day three and day seven of their arrival in Singapore.
“The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) public health assessment is that the pre-departure test and on-arrival test provide sufficient safeguards for detecting and isolating imported Covid-19 cases,” said CAAS.
“The removal of the day three and day seven PCR tests will help reduce cost and improve convenience for VTL travellers,” it continued.
Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will also need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass to enter Singapore under the VTL scheme. However, Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated can automatically use the VTL scheme without needing to apply for a pass.
Fully vaccinated travellers from the countries can also make use of the VTL. However, when travelling into Singapore, passengers are required to book a VTL flight. These flights will only admit fully vaccinated passengers. More details will be announced by airlines soon.
VTL travellers will also have to follow all local government Covid-19 measures and will need to have remained in the country that they are visiting or Singapore for 14 consecutive days before they can depart. They will however not need to follow a controlled itinerary or have a sponsor.
“If the traveller has been in Singapore within those last 14 days, his/her stay in Singapore can be counted towards fulfilling this 14-day travel history requirement,” said CAAS.
Lastly, travellers are required to purchase travel insurance, that has a minimum coverage of $30,000 for Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs before they can fly into Singapore.
You can find out more about the VTL here.