On February 16, Singapore announced that it will finally be launching vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) with Hong Kong as well as other regions.
The other regions are Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which saw their VTLs deferred in November amid fears surrounding the Omicron Covid-19 variant which, at that point, was relatively new and unknown.
From March 4, Singapore will also be starting VTLs for Israel and the Philippines and will be establishing two-way quarantine-free travel with these countries.
Vaccinated travellers will soon also be able to fly into Singapore from all cities in Thailand without quarantine.
Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) applications for Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will open at 10 am on February 22 and the first VTL flights from these countries are set to take off from February 25.
“We will progressively launch VTLs with more destinations as we move towards facilitating fully vaccinated travel,” said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its press release on February 16.
Singapore is also still set to launch its VTL between Bintan and Batam this month with applications opening at 10 am on February 22 and the first ferry trip taking place on February 25.
The quotas for VTL flights will also be fully restored immediately while the quota for the ongoing land VTLs between Singapore and Malaysia will be fully restored from February 22. The sales for additional bus tickets will start on February 16 for people hoping to travel across the causeway and the quota is set to progressively increase, according to MOH.
The quotas were reduced from January 20 in an attempt to control the spread of the Omicron variant.
“We will continue to monitor the global Covid-19 situation and adjust our border measures in tandem with our roadmap to becoming a Covid-resilient nation,” MOH said.
Border measures for travellers will also be streamlined under the new regulations. Currently, countries and regions are placed into four categories based on their current Covid-19 situation. Each category has different border measures with some stricter than others.
However, with the update, categories II, III, and IV will be combined into a single “General Travel” category.
If you are coming in from a Category I country such as Macao, Mainland China or Taiwan, you will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel as these countries have a low infection rate.
All passengers travelling on VTLs will also continue to enjoy quarantine-free travel.
That said, a new “Restricted” category will now come into effect and will apply to countries and regions with “developing Covid-19 situations that warrant stricter border measures”.
Currently, no countries or regions fall into this category.