Everything You Need to Know About Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)
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As part of Singapore’s next transition into a resilient nation after Covid-19, our borders are finally reopening gradually to allow safe travels. On 8 Sep 2021, Singapore opened its first VTLs with Germany and Brunei to allow for vaccinated persons to travel to and from these selected countries. With the experience and confidence gained from these VTLs, 9 more countries have been announced to be added soon.
The new VTLs announcement opens up the possibility of leisure travelling for a lot of us, and many are very excited. If you are one of them thinking of planning an overseas trip right now, here’s all the information you need to know.
What is the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)?
To the delight of travel buffs, the VTL scheme allows fully vaccinated travellers to fly between Singapore and other countries quarantine-free. Travellers under the VTLs are not subject to Stay-Home Notice (SHN) on arrival. Instead, they will be required to produce a negative Pre-Departure Test taken within two days prior to departure and undergo an on-arrival PCR test.
Here’s the list of VTLs that have opened to date and those that will be launched in the coming weeks. The table below also highlights the kick-off dates to apply for the Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) for Short-Term Visitors and Long-Term Pass Holders.
|COUNTRY||VTL Commencement Date||VTP Application Date|
|Germany and Brunei||8 September||Currently open|
|US, UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain||19 October||Currently open|
|Australia||8 November||Currently open|
|South Korea||15 November||Currently open|
|Malaysia, Sweden, Finland India and Indonesia||29 November||22 November 2021|
|Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)||6 December 2021||29 November|
However, to ensure the well-being of all travellers and the countries within the scheme, a few added measures have been introduced in place of quarantine and stay-home notices. Here’s what you need to know!
1. What are the main requirements of the VTL scheme?
Although you can skip the 2 weeks of self-isolation altogether, there are some main rules every traveller must follow under the VTL scheme;
- You must be fully vaccinated with an accepted vaccine for at least 14 days before you fly. It also applies if you have recovered from Covid-19 and have a negative test result at least 24 hours before travelling.
- You must be able to show proof of vaccination, issued in Singapore (via the TraceTogether app as shown in the image above) or the VTL country/region you are starting your journey from.
- You are required to take multiple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, to and fro. This includes pre-departure (48 hours before travel), on-arrival and post-arrival tests. The Day 3 & 7 post-arrival PCR tests in Singapore will no longer be applicable from 19 October.
- To ensure you are not infected, you must remain in the VTL country/region that you visit for at least 14 consecutive days before departure to Singapore. However, from 19 October, you are allowed to visit one or more of the listed countries, with an accumulated 14 days or more before your return.
2. Am I automatically eligible to travel under the VTL scheme if fully vaccinated?
Yes, you can travel immediately under the VTL scheme if you’re a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident and have received the full dose of an approved vaccine.
Returning Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who are fully vaccinated will not need to apply for additional documentation in order to make use of the VTLs for travel. However, travellers intending to travel from Singapore to these VTL countries / regions are advised to check the prevailing entry requirements of the destination (Please refer to point 3 below).
3. Do I need to prepare any documents to travel back into Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane?
If you’re a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, you’ll need to submit your SG Arrival Card online at least 3 days before your arrival to Singapore. This e-Service states your health, travel history, and accommodation declarations.
However, if you’re a short-term visitor or long-term pass holder, you must apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) online when returning to Singapore. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to board the return VTL flight.
VTP applications must be made between 1 week to 1 month before the date of entry into Singapore. There is no charge for each application but you will have to prepay for Day 3 and Day 7 post-arrival PCR tests if you apply for it before 19 October.
Once approved, the VTP will be sent to you via email. It is valid for a single entry into Singapore up to 6 days from your expected return date, in case you have to change your re-entry flight date.
4. Can unvaccinated children travel via the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme?
The rule has been amended to allow children aged 12 or below (born in or after 2009) who are not vaccinated to travel as of 19 October. The child must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.
Children do not need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass under the VTL. But all children (except aged two and below) still need to undergo the pre-departure and on arrival PCR tests.
5. Can I take any flight to my travel destination?
Travellers must take designated VTL flights. If you’re heading back to Singapore, you will need to book your return ticket on these designated VTL flights. Remember that when you’re travelling to a VTL country, you should take a direct flight or opt to transit in other VTL countries only. This is to ensure that you remain eligible to return to Singapore after your trip.
This also means that you would need to stay in any of the approved VTL countries for at least 14 consecutive days prior to your departure home. Travelling to multiple VTL countries is allowed and counts towards those 14 days. For example, you can travel from Singapore to France then Italy, before heading back to Singapore after 2 weeks.
6. How can I show proof of vaccination?
Only digitally certified vaccination certificates are accepted. If you were vaccinated in Singapore, you can display your vaccination status on the TraceTogether app when checking in at the Singapore airport and before your departure from VTL countries/regions.
7. Where can I obtain a Pre-Departure COVID-19 PCR Test?
Only PCR tests taken at an internationally accredited or recognised laboratory, clinic, or medical facility are accepted and must be obtained within 48 hours before your departure, both to and from your holiday destination. Your result certificate should be in English, with the following details:
- Your name, and one other personal identifier such as the date of birth or passport number;
- Negative Covid-19 PCR test result;
- Date and time when the Covid-19 PCR test was taken; and
- Name of the testing institution for the Covid-19 PCR test.
8. What happens if I test positive while overseas?
If you test positive from your PCR test taken just before your departure home, you will have to self-isolate for at least 10 days, as required by most of the VTL countries/regions.
Some countries, like France and Italy, allow those that had close contact with an infected person – and tested negative – to continue with their planned itinerary. However, if you’re visiting the UK, Spain, or South Korea, you’ll need to self-quarantine for 10 days, or up to 14 days in South Korea if found to be in close contact with a confirmed case.
Once you have recovered from Covid-19, you can immediately travel to France and Spain as both countries do not require negative Covid-19 swab tests as a requirement to enter. Of course, if you do fall ill again once you enter and your test results come back positive, you will have to observe another 10 days of self-isolation in the respective country.
9. Is it safe to travel to the approved countries under the VTL scheme?
All the VTL countries/regions have more than half of their population vaccinated, and have similar VTL requirements in place.
Some Covid-19 SOPs are still being implemented, like wearing a mask at public places and showing proof of full vaccination as extra safety measures. Some countries have additional regulations for children and limitations on the number of people per group when gathering outside, with curfews established.
These precautionary steps are taken to ensure everyone’s health and wellbeing is protected as we open up countries for travel.
10. What Travel Insurance Should I Get?
Travel insurance has now become a lot more important with the possibility of medical emergencies with Covid-19. It is therefore important that you get the right travel insurance. If you’re a short-term visitor to Singapore, your travel insurance should have a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for COVID-19-related medical treatment and other medical emergencies, prior to travel, and you must use the TraceTogether app while in Singapore to monitor contact tracing.
Whether you plan to go on a quick family get-away or a solo trip to rediscover life, DirectAsia has a plan to suit individual needs. Follow our safe travel guide for some tips on avoiding Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.