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Travellers using vaccinated travel lane from Singapore to South Korea exempted from 10-day quarantine

SINGAPORE: Travellers using the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) from Singapore to South Korea will not have to undergo quarantine, the South Korean Embassy in Singapore said on its website on Thursday (Dec 2).

This comes a day after South Korea announced it would impose a 10-day quarantine on all travellers from Friday - regardless of vaccination status - due to concerns over the Omicron variant.

"VTL travel arrangement would proceed without change at the moment," the embassy said in a notice, adding that any changes to the policy will be put up on its website.

"Given that the COVID-19 situation remains volatile, we advise all travellers to check our website regularly for the latest border control measures prior to travel," it added.

Travellers on the VTL to South Korea have to be fully vaccinated and must have remained in Singapore for the past 14 days. They are exempted from quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 at Incheon Airport in Seoul.

Unvaccinated children aged six and above can enter Korea but will have to quarantine for 10 days, the notice added. Those below six are exempted from quarantine.

Travellers on the VTL must take a polymerase chain reaction test before they depart Singapore and when they arrive at Incheon Airport. They also have to take another test on the sixth or seventh day of arrival if they are staying for more than eight days.

Singapore's VTL with South Korea was launched on Nov 15.

There was some uncertainty earlier on whether South Korea's new quarantine rules would apply to VTL travellers from Singapore.

In response to CNA's queries on Thursday afternoon, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said it was awaiting more information from South Korean authorities.

"We are clarifying whether these requirements apply to the vaccinated travel lane arrangement for entry into the Republic of Korea. We are awaiting more information from the Republic of Korea authorities," said Mr Daniel Ng, CAAS' director for air transport.

Eligible travellers from South Korea can continue to enter Singapore under the VTL subject to COVID-19 tests, he added.

Earlier, the Singapore Embassy in Seoul said in a Facebook post at about 2.25pm that it was checking with South Korean authorities on how the quarantine would affect VTL travellers from Singapore.

In an update on Thursday evening, Singapore Airlines noted that South Korean authorities have confirmed that eligible travellers may enter the country quarantine free under the VTL arrangement with Singapore if they meet the entry requirements.

"Customers are advised to ensure that they meet all of the latest entry requirements before their flights, given the dynamic COVID-19 situation," said SIA in response to CNA's queries.

South Korea reported its first five cases of the Omicron variant on Wednesday. COVID-19 cases have also spiked since distancing curbs were relaxed last month.

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Source: CNA/dv/mi(aj)


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