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FAQ: Travelling to Singapore and how visitors can get their vaccination status recognised

FAQ: Travelling to Singapore and how visitors can get their vaccination status recognised

Singapore's skyline in the evening. (File photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has begun reopening its borders to travellers as the country continues its transition to living with COVID-19.

Travellers from more countries can now serve their stay-home notice at their place of residence instead of a hotel, while visitors from selected countries can enter Singapore via quarantine-free vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs).

With three more VTLs set to open in the coming days, here’s what foreign visitors need to know about entering Singapore via the quarantine-free arrangement.

WHO CAN TRAVEL TO SINGAPORE VIA VTL?

As of Oct 28, Singapore has announced VTLs with 13 countries. Travellers are required to enter Singapore via dedicated flights.

They must have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine under the World Health Organization emergency use listing, at least two weeks before arriving in Singapore. They must also have met the minimum dose interval period for that vaccine if applicable.

Unvaccinated children aged 12 and below in the calendar year are allowed to travel to Singapore via VTL as long as they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated traveller.

(Table: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)

Travel lanes with Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States have already opened. The scheme will be extended to Australia and Switzerland on Nov 8, and to South Korea on Nov 15.

For Australia, two-way travel will initially only apply to fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, due to the country's current border measures.

Under the VTL scheme, travellers must have remained in one or more of the VTL countries in the last 14 days before departure to Singapore.

HOW DO I PROVE MY VACCINATION STATUS?

In Singapore, residents use the TraceTogether or HealthHub apps to prove their vaccination status, so it is important for visitors to get their vaccination records reflected on either of those apps. 

To do that, travellers should present their proof of vaccination to an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer at immigration clearance on arrival. 

The proof of vaccination should come in the form of an original vaccination document that clearly states the type of vaccine taken and the dates they were taken. The documents must be in English or translated to English by a translation service provider, embassy or notary public.

Upon verification, their vaccination records will then be reflected electronically in TraceTogether or HealthHub.

Because TraceTogether is Singapore's contact tracing app, travellers are required to download it and register with their passport numbers.

The app will allow visitors to enter places like hotels, malls, restaurants and attractions - or any places that are regulated by Singapore’s vaccination-differentiated safe management measures

Do note that the vaccinated status granted to visitors is only valid for 30 days.

Travellers who require vaccinated status for longer than 30 days can visit a private healthcare provider or Public Health Preparedness Clinic to take a serology test. With a positive serology test result, travellers will have their vaccination records added to the National Immunisation Registry, and they will retain their vaccinated status.

A Singapore Airlines flight from Frankfurt approaching Singapore's Changi Airport on Sep 8, 2021. (Photo: Kurt Ganapathy)

WHAT ELSE MUST BE DONE BEFORE DEPARTURE?

Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders travelling to Singapore must apply for a vaccinated travel pass (VTP) between seven and 60 days before they plan to enter the country.

Travellers who require a visa to enter Singapore will have to apply for one beforehand.

All short-term visitors travelling to Singapore via a VTL must have travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 against COVID-19-related medical charges. Insurance can be obtained from insurers based in Singapore or overseas.

Although VTL travellers do not undergo quarantine in Singapore, they must still wait for the results of their on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before going about their activities in Singapore.

Therefore, travellers must secure self-isolation accommodation in Singapore to wait for the results, which they should receive within 24 hours. This accommodation can be a place of residence, a hotel or a serviced apartment.

Travellers should register and pre-pay for on-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests. If not, they will have to pay for the tests upon arrival and may face delays in being tested and allowed to leave the airport.

Within three days before arriving in Singapore, travellers should submit an SG Arrival Card with their pre-trip health and travel history declaration.

All travellers except those aged two and under must take a pre-departure PCR test within 48 hours before departure for Singapore. This test must be administered at an accredited or authorised testing facility in the country of departure.

The test report must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation; contain the traveller’s name and either their date of birth or passport number; and show the time and date the test was taken, the name of the testing institution and that the test result was negative.

Travellers should defer their trips if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have been diagnosed with or suspected to have contracted COVID-19 in the last 14 days before departing for Singapore.

They should also postpone their travels if they have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive patient in the last 10 days before departing for Singapore.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I ARRIVE IN SINGAPORE?

After clearing immigration, travellers must head straight to their self-isolation accommodation by private transport, taxi or private-hire cars. They are not allowed to use public transport.

Travellers can only leave their self-isolation accommodation after receiving their negative PCR test result. They will be notified by phone call or email, and they will be able to view their results on the TraceTogether app.

Should a traveller test positive for COVID-19, they will have to receive medical treatment. Prevailing medical treatment charges will apply.

WHAT CAN I DO IN SINGAPORE?

There are no restrictions on their itinerary in Singapore, but travellers must comply with prevailing COVID-19 safe management measures.

Social gatherings are limited to groups of two people under the current Stabilisation Phase, which is expected to last until Nov 21. The rule of two also applies to dining in at food and beverage outlets and outdoor activities.

People should limit themselves to one social gathering a day.

Up to two unique visitors are allowed to visit a household each day. 

A maximum of 1,000 people are currently allowed to attend live performances, MICE events (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and sporting events if all attendees are vaccinated.

Attractions, shows, cruises and museums are currently operating at 50 per cent capacity. Tours are capped at 50 people for conveyance tours, such as Duck Tours, and 20 people for non-conveyance tours.

For more information on travelling to Singapore via VTL, visit the ICA website.

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Source: CNA/kg(gs)

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