Singapore announces plans to open Vaccinated Travel Lane with India effective November 29, 2021

Singapore has extended its Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme to five more countries, including India, in the coming days. The Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) allows quarantine-free travel to Singapore. Travellers must fulfil essential criteria and conditions of the VTL to enjoy a quarantine-free journey. Otherwise, they may be turned away by airlines/immigration or be subject to prevailing health requirements and quarantine.

Vaccinated Travel Lanes

The primary criteria for Vaccinated Travel Lanes include the following:

  • Travellers must be fully vaccinated with WHO EUL vaccines (click here for the definition of fully vaccinated) at least two weeks before arrival in Singapore.
  • Hold an acceptable proof of vaccine (such as Cowin generated certificate for India)
  • Have only travelled to / transited via any VTL countries/regions, Category I countries/regions and/or Singapore in the last 14 consecutive days before departure for Singapore.
  • Arrive in Singapore on a designated VTL flight (list available in the VTL Traveller’s Checklist)
  • All short-term visitors travelling to Singapore under VTL must purchase suitable travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 against COVID-19 related medical charges. Travellers may be insured with a Singapore or overseas-based insurer.
  • Foreign short term visitors holding travel documents that require a visa to enter Singapore must apply for a visa.

Further, you need to apply for and be accepted for a single-use Vaccinated Travel Pass to arrive in Singapore. To date, Singapore has launched 13 VTLs, including Australia, Canada and Germany. The country announced previously that it will be launching VTLs with Malaysia, Finland, and Sweden from November 29, 2021.

Singapore adds India to the Vaccinated Travel Lane Scheme

As per an announcement on the Singapore Ministry of Health website today, Singapore has announced that they will add more countries to their VTL scheme effective November 29, 2021. The government intends to launch VTLs with India and Indonesia from November 29 and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from December 6, 2021.

Singapore’s Transport Minister S Iswaran said Singapore and India had discussed the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. India has started recognising the vaccination certificates issued by Singapore from November 12, 2021 already. This means that fully-vaccinated Singapore to India travellers will no longer need to undergo post-arrival tests and home quarantine when they arrive in India.

However, the VTL addition by itself means nothing much. Singapore has still not signed on an Air Bubble agreement with India, and hence the only flights offered to/from at the moment are government charter flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. Singapore has indicated that they are discussing scheduled commercial flights with India. If these discussions fructify, Singapore intends to add two daily VTL flights from Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai from November 29, 2021.

Applications for short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will start on November 22, 2021, for travellers from India to Singapore. Returning Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who are fully vaccinated will not need to apply if they travel via the VTL.

Singapore Airlines, on this occasion, commented,

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group welcomes the addition of Indonesia, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to Singapore’s vaccinated travel lane (VTL) arrangements.

These arrangements support the safe and gradual resumption of international air travel, allowing loved ones to finally reunite and support the demand for business travel.

This is also an important step in the calibrated rebuilding of Singapore’s position as an international air hub.

On the aspect of resumption of flights to India, the Singapore Airlines spokesperson said,

SIA does not currently operate passenger flights between Singapore and India.

We remain guided by the authorities on our passenger services to and from India, and seek our customers’ patience and understanding while the bilateral air travel arrangements are being finalised.

SIA will provide more information when it is available.

Bottomline

Singapore is putting India on its VTL scheme, which will allow vaccinated travellers from India to travel to Singapore without quarantine. However, a vaccinated travel pass (VTP) will need to be issued to them subject to various documents being provided, which will be suitable for one trip only. However, flights between India and Singapore are yet to resume on a commercial level.

What do you make of India being added to the VTP programme of Singapore?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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