SINGAPORE: Singapore-China “fast lane” arrangement between Singapore and China gets underway, 8 June, in a move to open essential travel between the two countries.
More details are now available on the procedures that will be in place to allow two-way travel following a joint announcement made by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Trade and Industry Ministry, 3 June.
The joint statement read: “In conjunction with Singapore’s move towards Phase One (“Safe Re-opening”) of the post-Circuit Breaker period, Singapore has explored the piloting of fast lane arrangements with a few other countries and regions.
“This is part of Singapore’s gradual reopening of our borders for Singaporeans and residents to conduct essential activities overseas and to allow safe travel for foreigners entering Singapore in limited numbers, with the necessary safeguards in place to ensure public health considerations are addressed.”
Residents in Singapore seeking to make essential travel to China via the fast lane must be sponsored by either a company or a government agency in China, which will file an application on behalf of the applicant with the local provincial or municipal authorities.
If the application is approved, an invitation will be issued to the applicant. The approved applicant will thereafter apply for a visa from the PRC Embassy in Singapore, as well as submit a health declaration to the Chinese authorities.
Residents in China seeking to make essential travel to Singapore via the fast lane must be sponsored by either a company or a Singapore Government agency, which will file an application on behalf of the applicant for a SafeTravel Pass. When the SafeTravel Pass application is approved, an approval letter will be issued to the applicant, as well as the sponsoring company or government agency. With this letter, an approved applicant who is a visa-required passport holder will proceed to apply for a visa for travel to Singapore through the usual channels. If the applicant already has an existing valid visa, the visa suspension will be lifted when the SafeTravel Pass is approved, and he or she need not apply for a new visa. The applicant can check his/her visa status through https://eservices.ica.gov.sg/esvclandingpage/save. Those who do not require a visa prior to the Covid-19 pandemic will not need to apply for a visa for fast lane travel. These include passport holders from countries and regions with which Singapore has visa-free arrangements, as well as diplomatic and official passport holders. The approved applicant will also have to electronically submit pre-trip health and travel history declarations via the SG Arrival Card, before entering Singapore.
Pre-Departure Health Measures
Approved applicants travelling from either country must monitor their health status before departure, take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours before departure and obtain a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19. Users of the fast lane between China and Singapore will bear the cost of the pre-departure PCR test. In addition, applicants travelling from China to Singapore must have remained in any of the sending Chinese fast lane regions for the last seven days prior to departure for Singapore. The applicant is required to produce a valid SafeTravel Pass, a negative PCR test result, a return air ticket and a valid visa (for visa-required passport holders) for pre-boarding checks. Otherwise, the applicant could be denied boarding.
Post-Arrival Health Measures
An approved applicant travelling from Singapore to China will undergo a PCR test and serology test after arrival in China at his/her own cost, and remain in locations designated by the local provincial or municipal government for one to two days until the test result is released. If the result indicates that the traveller has tested negative for Covid-19, the host company or government agency will transport the traveller directly from the above-mentioned locations designated by the local provincial/municipal government to the workplace or residence. If tested positive for Covid-19, the traveller will undergo medical treatment in China at the traveller’s cost. Travellers must use China’s local Health QR code for the duration of their stay in China.
An approved applicant travelling from China to Singapore will undergo a PCR test after arrival in Singapore. The applicant is also required to produce a valid SafeTravel Pass and a negative PCR test result (i.e., the result of the test done prior to departure from China) to arrival immigration. The applicant will otherwise be denied entry. Upon entry into Singapore, the applicant must remain in isolation at a self-sourced declared accommodation (non-residential address only) for one to two days until the test result is known. The host company or government agency will transport the traveller directly from the airport to the declared self-sourced accommodation, adhering to prevailing health measures. Travellers will bear the costs of the post-arrival PCR test in Singapore and stay in the declared accommodation. If the result indicates that the traveller has tested negative for Covid-19, the host company or government agency will ensure that the traveller is transported directly from the declared accommodation to the workplace, and back. If tested positive for Covid-19, the traveller will undergo medical treatment at his/her cost. The host company or government agency shall ensure that the travellers to Singapore use the TraceTogether app for the duration of their stay. If a traveller does not have a TraceTogether-compatible device, the host company or government agency should provide one to the traveller.
Besides abiding by the prevailing public health measures of the receiving country/region, travellers must adhere to a controlled itinerary that is supervised by the host company or government agency for the first 14 days. The traveller may not use public transportation for this purpose, with the exception of private hire cars/taxis or designated company transport.
For travellers from Singapore who need to travel between the fast lane regions in China within the first 14 days upon arrival, they shall, through the host company or government agency, obtain in advance the approval of the provincial/municipal government of the next destination. The traveller from Singapore will only be allowed to travel outside the six fast lane regions after staying in the fast lane region(s) for 14 days and should adhere to prevailing measures in China.
Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders returning to Singapore from China must monitor their health and comply with the prevailing health measures. To facilitate their arrival immigration clearance, they must show a copy of the invitation letter issued by the government authority in China.
Initially signed 29 May, the fast lane agreement between Singapore and China facilitates only essential travel for business and official purposes between the two countries.
It is also limited to travel between Singapore and six Chinese provinces or municipalities – Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)