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Taking your kids abroad through vaccinated travel lanes: What you need to know

Taking your kids abroad through vaccinated travel lanes: What you need to know

A child plays with a replica of a komodo dragon at Changi Airport Terminal 3 while her parents look on, on Sep 1, 2021. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's vaccinated travel lanes will extend to unvaccinated children aged 12 and below from Oct 19, in a move to facilitate family travel.

The vaccinated travel lanes are open for all travel purposes, whether for leisure, business or to visit family, as long as travellers fulfil the requirements.

With the latest changes, children can enter Singapore without quarantine or proof of vaccination, and will not need to apply for a vaccinated travel pass, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Monday (Oct 11).

Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a holiday with the kids:

1. DOES MY CHILD QUALIFY?

First, your child must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated traveller who meets all the requirements of the vaccinated travel lane scheme.

Second, your child must be aged 12 and below. Age will be calculated by calendar year, so those who want to enter Singapore under a vaccinated travel lane in 2021 must be born in or after 2009, and so forth.

Third, your child must be a Singaporean, permanent resident, long-term pass holder or short-term visitor.

Fourth, your child must have remained in any of the vaccinated travel lane countries or Singapore in the last 14 days before leaving for Singapore.

Fifth, your child must be flying into Singapore on a designated vaccinated travel lane flight.

2. ARE THERE ANY COVID-19 TEST REQUIREMENTS?

Children aged two and below will not have to undergo pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. 

Before your flight leaves for Singapore, your child must test negative on a PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure. The test result certificate must be in English.

Upon arrival at Changi Airport, your child must test negative on another PCR test. Registration and payment for this test should be done online prior to departure.

After the on-arrival test, travellers must immediately take private transport, taxi or private hire car from the airport to the declared accommodation. They must isolate there until the on-arrival test result is confirmed to be negative.

The test result will come out within 24 hours, said CAAS. If it is negative, travellers can go about their activities in Singapore.

3. WHERE CAN WE TRAVEL TO?

Currently, Singapore has vaccinated travel lanes with Brunei and Germany, although the allowances for children only kick in from Oct 19.

On Oct 19, eight more vaccinated travel lanes with Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US will open. South Korea will also join the scheme from Nov 15.

The allowances under the vaccinated travel scheme will apply to you when you return to Singapore from vaccinated travel lane countries.

Before travelling to any of these destinations, CAAS advises travellers to first check the requirements imposed by those countries, including any restrictions on age and vaccination status.

For example, Brunei currently does not allow general travel into the country.

South Korea will allow general travel under the vaccinated travel lane, but not for children who do not quality for vaccination or people medically unfit for vaccination.

4. WHY IS THIS BEING ALLOWED?

CAAS director-general Han Kok Juan said the authority received "positive public feedback" on the vaccinated travel lanes, but some parents also suggested allowing their children to travel under the scheme.

In consultation with the Ministry of Health, CAAS decided to allow this to facilitate family travel.

"There is some public health risk, but it can be mitigated with the other safeguards," said Mr Han, while urging parents to exercise "extra care and caution" when travelling with an unvaccinated child.

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Source: CNA/dv(rw)

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