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Singapore extends vaccinated travel lanes to Penang, Bali, all India cities; new VTLs with Vietnam and Greece

Singapore extends vaccinated travel lanes to Penang, Bali, all India cities; new VTLs with Vietnam and Greece

Travellers wearing face masks are seen at Changi Airport in Singapore on Jan 12, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore announced new vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) for Vietnam and Greece on Friday (Mar 4), while extending the quarantine-free arrangement to more cities in Malaysia, Indonesia and India. 

From Mar 16, the air VTL for Malaysia will extend beyond Kuala Lumpur to include Penang, starting with four daily flights each way between Singapore and Penang, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

On the same date, the VTL for Indonesia will extend beyond Jakarta to include Bali, starting with two daily flights from Bali-Denpasar to Singapore.

Indonesia, on its part, plans to launch a trial to allow vaccinated travellers to enter Bali from mid-March, said Transport Minister S Iswaran in a Facebook post. "We will likewise extend the VTL (Air) to Bali from Mar 16," he added.

The VTL for India will include all cities. It currently covers Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.

“Airlines that plan to operate from these points under the VTL may submit their plans for designated flights to CAAS for approval,” said the authority.

NEW VTLS WITH VIETNAM, GREECE

Vietnam plans to reopen its borders for international tourism from Mar 15, noted CAAS.

“With the launch of the VTL from Vietnam, we will restore two-way quarantine-free travel with Vietnam, which was a popular destination for many Singaporeans pre-COVID,” it added.

Travellers from Vietnam and Greece may enter Singapore under the VTL on or after Mar 16.

"Taken together, the VTLs with Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam will deepen connectivity with our ASEAN neighbours, with whom we have longstanding economic and people-to-people ties," said Mr Iswaran.

Vaccinated travel pass applications for these countries will open on Mar 13 at 10am. This is required for eligible short-term visitors and work permit holders.

Non-Malaysian work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and process sector or work permit holders who are staying in dormitories are not allowed to enter Singapore under the VTL.  

Fully vaccinated Singaporeans, permanent residents and all other long-term pass holders and in-principle approval (IPA) holders do not need to apply for the pass. Children aged 12 and below in the calendar year do not need to do so as well.

With the addition of the VTL with Greece, Singapore has established two-way quarantine-free travel with all countries in Europe that have direct flights to Singapore.

“To enable greater flexibility for travellers visiting or coming from Europe to plan their journeys, CAAS will also broaden the travel history requirement for the VTL to include the entire European Economic Area,” said the authority.

The European Economic Area, which consists of the 27 EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, allows the free movement of people between these countries.

The broadening of travel history requirement will apply to travellers entering Singapore on or after Mar 16.

Travellers who have been in any country in the European Economic Area, including transit stops, within the last seven consecutive days before departure to Singapore, may count their stay in those countries towards fulfilling the seven-day VTL travel history requirement.

MORE THAN 450,000 VTL TRAVELLERS

Since Sep 8 last year, Singapore has established VTLs with 30 countries and regions.

As of 11.59pm on Thursday, CAAS has issued 348,518 vaccinated travel passes to travellers from these countries and regions to enter Singapore between Sep 8, 2021, and Mar 16.

A total of 456,215 VTL travellers have entered Singapore.

Types of VTL travellers Number of travellers
Short-term visitors 132,099
Long-term and IPA pass holders 119,289
Singaporeans and PRs 167,380
Children aged 12 and below 37,447

"Malaysia and Indonesia are our closest neighbours. We started the VTL (Air) with flights from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Jakarta in Indonesia in November last year," said Mr Iswaran.

As of Feb 28, more than 80,000 travellers from Malaysia have entered Singapore under the VTL (Air) from Kuala Lumpur airport.

CAAS said the extension of the VTLs will help facilitate travel and "densify" the Singapore air hub's connectivity with key markets.

"As the global COVID-19 situation evolves, CAAS will continue to monitor the public health situation closely and stand ready to adjust our border measures with the appropriate safeguards quickly to ensure public health and safety," said the authority. 

"This will enable us to transition safely and confidently towards a COVID-19 resilient nation."

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Source: CNA/mi(gs)

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