SINGAPORE: A new simplified framework that will allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter Singapore quarantine-free will come into effect from Apr 1, replacing all existing vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and unilateral opening arrangements.
On Thursday (Mar 24), the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that all countries and regions will be classified into two categories - general travel or the restricted category - under the new vaccinated travel framework.
All fully vaccinated travellers, as well as children aged 12 and below, will be able to enter Singapore with just a pre-departure COVID-19 test from 11.59pm on Mar 31.
They will also no longer need to apply for entry approvals or take designated VTL transport to enter Singapore quarantine-free.
Here's what travellers need to know about entering Singapore under the new framework, once it kicks in.
WHO CAN ENTER SINGAPORE QUARANTINE-FREE?
All fully vaccinated travellers from any country or region will be able to enter Singapore without the need for quarantine, as long as they have not visited any countries or regions in the restricted category in the past seven days.
There are currently no countries or regions on the restricted category.
This means that such travellers will no longer be required to apply for a vaccinated travel pass (VTP) or air travel pass (ATP) for entry into Singapore.
Travellers holding a valid VTP or ATP can continue to enter Singapore under the VTL or unilateral opening arrangement until Mar 31, after which, they will no longer be required to present their passes.
While non-fully vaccinated long-term pass-holders and short-term visitors aged 13 and above are generally not allowed to enter Singapore, there are a few exceptions:
- Long-term pass-holders who are medically ineligible for vaccines
- Long-term pass-holders and short-term visitors who have valid entry approval such as compassionate reasons
- Long-term pass-holders aged between 13 and 17, who will be subjected to a seven-day stay-home notice and an exit polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test after their isolation period
WHAT ARE THE TESTING REQUIREMENTS?
Fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take any COVID-19 tests in Singapore.
However, they must take a pre-departure test within two days before departing for Singapore and obtain a negative test result. This can either be a PCR test, a professionally administered antigen rapid test (ART) or a remotely supervised self-administered ART.
On Thursday, Transport Minister S Iswaran said the Government will review the removal of the pre-departure test requirement in “two to four weeks by mid-April”, taking into account the prevailing public health assessment.
As for non-fully vaccinated long-term pass-holders and short-term visitors who are allowed to enter Singapore, they will be required to take a pre-departure test within two days before departure for Singapore, undergo a seven-day stay-home notice, and take a PCR test after their isolation period.
DO I NEED TO TAKE DESIGNATED FLIGHTS OR FERRIES?
From Apr 1, all existing VTLs and unilateral opening arrangements will be retired. As such, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enter Singapore on any flight or ferry. There will also be no more quotas applied on daily or weekly arrivals.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SHORT-TERM VISITORS
In addition to pre-departure COVID-19 tests, foreign short-term visitors holding passports or travel documents issued by visa-required countries or regions must apply for an entry visa.
They must also purchase travel insurance, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs, prior to their travel to Singapore. These visitors must also download and use Singapore’s contact tracing app - TraceTogether app - while in the country.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET COVID-19 AFTER I RETURN?
Fully vaccinated Singapore residents as well as long-term pass holders who travel to places under the general category, will no longer be required to pay for COVID-19-related treatment in hospitals or government facilities, if they develop symptoms or test positive within 14 days of their return to Singapore.
However, those travelling to places under the restricted category - regardless of their vaccination status - will be required to pay for medical bills in hospitals and dedicated COVID-19 treatment and recovery facilities, if they develop onset of symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 within seven days of their return to Singapore.
As for those who are not fully vaccinated, they will remain responsible for their COVID-19 treatment costs, as per the charging policy for unvaccinated individuals who contracted COVID- 19 in the community.