Last year, Singapore had initiated the process of opening up the country through Vaccinated Travel Lanes, where Vaccinated folk acquire a special pass (free of cost), called Vaccinated Travel Pass and arrive in Singapore on specially designated flights for the Vaccinated Travel Lanes. Those who arrive on VTL designated flights (operated by Singapore Airlines or the other country carriers), don’t need to quarantine in Singapore.
However, over time, restrictions were imposed to mitigate the Omicron variant, including shutting down sales of tickets on VTL flights for a while, and ongoing testing while you would be in Singapore. However, now Singapore is ready for opening up again.
Modifications to the VTL Lane
Singapore will restore and progressively raise quotas imposed on vaccinated travel lanes, the Ministry of Health said in a statement, while extending the VTL program over the coming weeks to include Qatar and the United Arab Emirates which are transit hubs in their own right along with Hong Kong, the Philippines, Israel and Saudi Arabia, while the VTL for Thailand will be extended beyond Bangkok to include flights from all Thai cities.
Visitors to Singapore will no longer need to have remained in a VTL country for 14 days prior to their arrival at Changi, with that requirement slashed to seven days – making it easier to plan trips that involve hopping between several countries.
Vaccinated holders of long-term visas, such as high-income foreign workers and their dependents, will no longer need to apply for entry approval for travel via vaccinated travel lanes.
On the Safe Travel portal of Singapore, you can now see that SG has notified that the following measures are applicable for VTL travellers entering Singapore from February 21 2022, 2359h (SGT).
- Long-Term Pass holders (excluding Work Permit holders) are no longer required to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP).
- Assessed travel history will be reduced from 14 days to 7 days.
- PCR test at the airport will be replaced with a supervised self-administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) at a Quick Test Centre (QTC) or Combined Test Centre (CTC), to be completed within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore. Travellers who have prepaid for the PCR test can expect a refund from the Changi Airport Group (CAG) for their unutilised test (excluding the S$3 administrative fee) 7 days after their scheduled booking date.
- Unsupervised self-administered ARTs will no longer be required on Days 2 to 7 of arrival in Singapore.
VTL travellers who enter Singapore before February 21, 2022, 2359h (SGT) are required to continue with the existing testing regime (i.e. on-arrival PCR test and unsupervised self-administered ARTs from Days 2 to 7).
This move reflects a significant step in the direction of the opening up of Singapore, and those who want to travel to Singapore from India can book themselves on a VTL flight (from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai at present). On the return they can arrive directly into their own city as well.
What do you make of the new requirements enlisted by Singapore for travel into the country?
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