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Singapore steps down vaccinated lane

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SINGAPORE 20 August 2021: Singapore will launch a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) from Germany starting 8 September, Singapore Airlines confirmed on Thursday.  

Under the VTL scheme, eligible vaccinated customers will be able to travel freely between both countries for all travel purposes without quarantine restrictions.

Germany currently enables quarantine free entry from Singapore, which is classified as a low-risk country (1).

Travel lane travellers criteria

  • Fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or other World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listed vaccines.
  • The final dose has been administered at least 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore.
  • Travellers stayed in Germany and/or Singapore for 21 consecutive days before departure.
  • Present a pre-departure Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours before flight departure, an on-arrival PCR test at Changi Airport, as well as a maximum of two post-arrival PCR tests.

Must fly only on dedicated VTL flights

All short-term visitors and Long-Term Pass holders need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass between seven and 30 days prior to their intended date of entry into Singapore. Travellers can apply for the Vaccinated Travel Pass starting 1 September. 

Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents are not required to apply for the Vaccinated Travel Pass but will need to show their vaccination status on the HealthHub app or present proof of their vaccination taken in their Germany of departure at check-in. 

Short-term visitors who require a visa for travel to Singapore must separately obtain a visa. 

They must also purchase travel insurance, with a minimum coverage of SGD30,000 for Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs, prior to travel to Singapore. 

Visitors must also use the TraceTogether app in Singapore to facilitate contact tracing. 

You must have the intention to enter Singapore. Transit passengers are not eligible for the VTL flights and will not be allowed to board the designated VTL flights. Non-VTL travellers are also not allowed to board the designated VTL flights. (2)

Travel industry response

In response to the announcement, IATA’s deputy director-general, Conrad Clifford commented: “Singapore’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction. We understand the need for a cautious approach and look forward to seeing further lifting of quarantine requirements. This will help with the recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors.

It has been a year and a half since the world closed its borders to international travel. A lot more is known today about Covid-19. Unfortunately, many states in the Asia Pacific continue to adopt a risk-averse zero-COVID approach and continue to shut their borders. This is not sustainable and is detrimental to both their economies and their populations.

“We have seen moves around the world to reopen borders, allow international travel, and restarting their aviation and tourism sectors. Asia-Pacific risks being left behind.

A data-driven approach using vaccination and testing can manage the risk of Covid-19 when reopening borders to international travel. Singapore has shown leadership in demonstrating that it is safe to reopen international travel without quarantine. I hope other Asia Pacific states will take similar steps with their borders.”

Popular travel booking platform Expedia reported that in less than 24 hours since the announcement of the Vaccinated Travel Lane, searches for flights to Germany increased sixfold on the Expedia platform, compared to the previous day.

“Our search trends have been growing month on month for the year-end holidays, an indication that the pent-up demand is growing. Our Q2 search results indicated a 60% increase in searches (3) for international travel on Expedia.com.sg for travel in the second quarter of 2021 

“Our consumer research tells us that 71% of Singapore respondents feel overwhelmed by planning their next trip, with 42% agreeing that they are more overwhelmed when booking a trip post-Covid-19 than they were before Covid-19.”

“The vaccinated travel lane scheme offers a safer and more assuring way for Singaporeans to travel internationally. With greater protection from Covid-19 as a result of being vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of travellers being infected on their travels. According to Expedia’s Travel Companions Report released in May this year, 44% of the Singapore respondents also said that their future travel is highly dependent on the success of vaccination.”

1 Travellers transiting through Singapore, as well as non-VTL travellers, will not be allowed to board the designated VTL flights. Passengers travelling on designated VTL flights must ensure they meet all the requirements before booking a flight.
 
2 Quarantine free travel only applies if you are a Singapore citizen or PR who has stayed in Singapore for at least the past six months or if you are a fully vaccinated traveller who received your last required vaccination dose at least 14 days before the date of travel, and have not stayed in an “area of a variant of concern” during the last 10 days. Proof of vaccination status is required for travel. For more information, please click here.
 

3 Based on searches for hotels on Expedia.com.sg between April to June 2021, for the travel period of November 2021 to January 2022. 

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