After putting your overseas travel plans on hold for almost 2 years, I’m sure your passport has gathered quite a lot of dust inside your cabinet, waiting to be used and stamped on again!
The good news is, you don’t have to wait any longer because international travel is slowly getting back on track!
As vaccination drives continue to ramp up worldwide, several countries are gradually relaxing travel restrictions and reopening borders to doubled-jabbed visitors from selected countries.
Here in Singapore, there’s the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) that allows visitors from selected territories to enter the island without having to quarantine - and vice versa.
As of 2 December 2021, there are 18 countries included in the travel scheme, but more countries are expected to be added soon!
Itching to travel out of the island yourself? I have you covered!
I’ve made a comprehensive summary of everything you need to know about Singapore’s VTL to help you prepare for that long overdue, well-deserved trip!
What is the Vaccinated Travel Lane?
The Vaccinated Travel Lane is one of Singapore’s initiatives to transition into the new normal of travel to help the economy and the hospitality and tourism sector recover.
Under this travel scheme, fully vaccinated travellers don’t need to undergo mandatory facility quarantine upon arriving at the country of destination and returning to Singapore.
The main requirement is that you have to be fully vaccinated by at least 14 days before departure, with a vaccine recognised by the World Health Organisation.
(Reminder: some participating countries may not accept Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines, so do some research before booking that flight!)
Which countries are included in the VTL?
As of 2 December 2021, here are the countries that you can travel to without undergoing quarantine:
You can check out SafeTravel to be updated on the list of participating countries as more are being added to the list or as the requirements get may get updated from time to time due to the new Omicron variant.
What are the travel requirements?
First, you have to secure vaccination certificates that can be digitally verified as proof of vaccination prior to your flight.
After that, you need to present a valid negative PCR test result taken 48 hours before your departure.
For those departing from Singapore, you can take any flight bound to a VTL country. If you’re returning to Singapore, though, the rules are stricter.
Be extra careful when booking return flights because only passengers on VTL-designed flights are qualified for quarantine-free entry.
Those returning on a non-VTL-flight may have to undergo mandatory quarantine until the PCR test comes back negative.
Where can you get tested?
You can book a PCR test at any recognised clinics in Singapore, such as Acumed Medical Group, Healthway Medical, and Parkway Shenton, among others.
You don’t have to worry about where you got tested because all test results are valid as long as it’s from an approved testing centre.
The average price of a PCR test in Singapore ranges from $130 - $200, depending on the clinic. The full cost of the test is to be shouldered by the traveller, so there will be no subsidies from MediSave and MediShield Life.
Once the results are out, check if they include the following information:
Date and time of test
Name of the testing centre
Testing requirements upon arrival at VTL countries varies. Some countries require another negative test result before entry, while others don’t.
With the emergence of the Omicron variant, Singapore is tightening its travel measures. Starting 2 December, VTL travellers arriving on the island must undergo supervised self-administered antigen rapid tests (ART) on the 3rd and 7th day of their arrival.
For those arriving from Malaysia by land, a compulsory ART is required on-arrival.
Are children allowed to travel under VTL?
We all know that children aged 12 and below aren’t eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine shot yet, but the good news is, you can tag them along in your travels.
Here are the travel requirements for children under the VTL:
Aged 12 and below
Accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult who’s eligible for the VTL.
Two PCR tests, before departure and upon arrival ( except those aged two and below)
Must be Singaporeans, permanent resident, long-term pass holder or short-term visitor
Must be in Singapore 14 days before departure
Must take a VTL-designated flight when returning to Singapore
The travel rules may be relaxed for children, but that doesn’t mean parents can let their guard down! Let’s continue to wear masks, wash our hands, and observe social distancing wherever we are.
Remember: the pandemic is still around, and unvaccinated children can still get infected.
What if you’re not vaccinated?
As the name suggests, only the fully vaccinated by at least 2 weeks are qualified under the Vaccinated Travel Lane.
However, you can still travel to countries that are currently accepting visitors from Singapore even if you haven’t had your shots yet.
The problem is, you’re going to have to undergo the mandatory facility quarantine, which will cost a lot of money.
You may be given leeway on the quarantine if you’re visiting for humanitarian or diplomatic purposes, but other than that, the quarantine will be a requirement before entry.
To make sure don’t forget anything, here’s a quick pre-departure checklist if you’re heading out of Singapore under the Vaccinated Travel Lane:
2 doses of any COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the World Health Organisation Digital Vaccination Certificate
Stayed in Singapore at least 14 days before departure
Negative PCR tests taken 48 hours before departure
Can’t wait to plan your future travels?
That sums up everything you need to know about Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane! These rules and requirements are likely to stick around as we welcome the new normal of travel.
How are you planning for your future travels as more borders reopen? I’d love to help you out! Send me a message and let’s help the hospitality and tourism sector bounce back!
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