Singapore Announces Further Relaxations for Vaccinated Travel Lane
Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) undergoes further relaxation, this time affecting testing rules.
Singapore has again announced further relaxation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane. Most notably, the requirements for testing upon entry will be relaxed. Singapore is also opening up to travellers from even more countries. However, the travel corridors under the Vaccinated Travel Lane remain an important part of Singapore’s opening plans.
Singapore continues to relax Vaccinated Travel Lane regulations. Countries and regions worldwide will now be divided into three different categories. The reason for this is Singapore’s current pandemic situation, which it says is now comparable to most countries worldwide.
Category 1 – applies to visitors from countries with low infection rates (Macau, Mainland China and Taiwan)
Category 2 – General travel: includes both VTL and non-VTL countries, with different quarantine requirements for each country
Category 3 – Restricted: this category will be used for countries and regions where, for example, a new virus variant is emerging (currently there are none).
With the new categories, the testing requirements will also be adjusted. Travellers from category 1 as well as persons travelling to Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane will no longer have to take a PCR test before departure as well as after arrival, nor will they have to go into quarantine from 21 February. Instead, a rapid antigen test up to 48 hours before departure and another up to 24 hours after arrival will suffice. This can be done at the various testing centres in Singapore, which are available throughout the city. A test costs 15 dollars.
New travel corridors since 22 February
Already before, the testing requirements for vaccinated travellers were relaxed. Under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), they “only” had to undergo unattended COVID-19 self-testing from the second day after arrival until the seventh day if they planned to leave their accommodation during this period. In addition to the new testing requirements, Singapore has already agreed new travel corridors with other countries. As of 22 February, Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also part of the VTL. In addition, there will also be a travel corridor by sea for the first time. The first VTL flights and ferries will start under the new VTL on 25 February.
Only a few weeks ago, the requirements for the Vaccinated Travel Pass were adjusted. From now on, it is valid for 13 days after the planned date of arrival. Previously, the pass was only valid for six days. If there is a change of plans and it is not possible to enter the country within this period, travellers may reapply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass. All they have to do is state the new planned date of arrival. This passport will then again be valid for 13 days. Travellers who are not travelling to Singapore via the VTL must also apply for the passport and comply with the entry requirements under the VTL.
Conclusion on the VTL relaxations
Although Singapore’s VTL still remains an onerous programme for travellers, some further relaxations are again being introduced here. These relate to the current testing rules as well as quarantine regulations. Travellers from VTL countries travelling to Singapore via the VTL will no longer have to take a PCR test both before departure and after arrival, nor will they have to go into quarantine. A rapid antigen test is sufficient in each case. If you are travelling from a country that does not have a travel corridor with Singapore, you only need to have been in that country for seven days prior to departure. The new relaxations drastically simplify the programme. It remains to be seen whether Singapore will implement further relaxations in the short term. At the moment, they seem to be very willing to experiment.