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Credit: The Travel Intern
November 2021

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

Since the introduction of the Vaccinated Travel Lanes, travelling is no longer just a dream in this Covid pandemic. But that also means there are many changes to the way we travel.

 

Before we dive into the various travel restrictions, here’s a quick recap on what the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) is about:

 

The VTL is a scheme that allows fully vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine in specific countries upon arrival, as well as Singapore upon return. For this to happen, certain conditions need to be fulfilled.

 

From taking pre-departure Covid-tests to booking designated VTL flights, here’s what you need to know before going on a trip overseas! 

 

*As these travel restrictions are constantly changing, we will be updating this piece regularly so bookmark this for future reference!

 

1) There are currently 27 countries you can fly to without quarantine

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

Singapore currently has arrangements with 27 countries under the VTL scheme. 

 

They include Brunei, Germany, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, South Korea, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Indonesia, India, Australia and Malaysia.

 

Six more countries will also be included, with Thailand starting 14 December and Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Turkey starting 16 December. However, these countries have already opened their borders to vaccinated travellers.

 

The VTL scheme with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is also currently deferred due to the new Omicron variant of the virus.

 

Some exceptions to the scheme are Brunei and Indonesia, which is currently not open to Singapore for leisure travel and Australia, which will only open certain states such as Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria to vaccinated Singaporeans.

 

*Note: Travellers from Singapore to India are still required to undergo quarantine. However, visitors from Brunei, India, Indonesia and Australia can enter Singapore on a designated VTL flight and skip quarantine.

 

2) You need to apply for a digital vaccination certificate

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You must be fully vaccinated to travel and this includes the 14 days after you have completed the second dose of the vaccine. Only vaccines on the World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing will be recognised — these include Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna.

 

After which, you’ll need to obtain a digital vaccination certificate as proof of your vaccination status, which can be done on Notarise

 

As of 25 November 2021, Singapore-issued vaccination certificates have also been recognised as the equivalent of Europe’s Digital Covid Certificate. This means that travellers can be exempted from restrictions such as Covid tests and quarantine when moving across borders in Europe as well as 18 non-EU countries.

 

3) Some countries require pre-departure Covid tests

Photo credit: Mufid Majnun via Unsplash

 

Depending on the country you’re travelling to, you might need to take a pre-departure Covid test. 

This can be either the Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR) or the Antigen Rapid Test (ART). The former involves a thorough throat and nasal swab while the latter is a simple nasal swab. 

France, Malaysia*, the Netherlands, United Kingdom

*applies to both air and land travel.

 

Negative PCR test 72 hours before departure: Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Fiji, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, the United States

Negative PCR/ART test 72 hours before entering the country: Italy, Germany#, Turkey#

#PCR test is not required if you have a digital vaccination certificate

Negative PCR test 96 hours before departure: Maldives

 

Find out where to take your PCR test from the Ministry of Health’s approved list.

 

*Pro-tip: UOB Cardmembers can take the Covid test at a special rate at certain Fullerton Health outlets

 

4) Remember to pack your masks!

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In this Covid situation, wearing masks has become the new norm. So apart from your clothes and other travel essentials, remember to pack in masks as well as it may be mandatory in certain countries!

Mandatory mask-wearing indoors and on public transport (incl. taxis): Australia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland*, France, Korea, Germany, Italy, Maldives, the Netherlands*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland*, United Kingdom, United States

*Masks are required on public transport but not necessarily indoors as it’s up to the various establishments

*Note: Mask-wearing is generally not compulsory outdoors for the countries listed above, unless there are certain circumstances. Do check the destination country before going.

Mandatory mask-wearing indoors and outdoors: Cambodia, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey

 

*Note: Various cities/states in certain countries have different rules regarding mask-wearing so do check beforehand

 

5) Make sure your travel insurance has Covid coverage

Photo credit: @burst via Unsplash

 

You never know what may happen overseas, especially during this uncertain period. So it’s best to have insurance that covers Covid-related matters such as overseas medical expenses, quarantine overseas, repatriation or trip cancellation due to Covid. 

In some cases, such as South Korea, you’re required to purchase travel insurance for the entire trip, with a minimum coverage of ₩30,000,000 (~S$34,000) for Covid-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs.

Here’s a sweet deal for UOB Cardmembers, get 40% off a single-trip plan and 20% off an annual plan from pre- to post-trip!

 

6) Prepare important documents before heading to the airport 

Photo credit: @homajob via Unsplash

 

Besides taking pre-departure Covid tests, you’ll also need to prepare documents to enter certain countries.

Here’s a breakdown:

Country Document Required
 Australia

 Australian Capital Territory

 Victoria

 Cambodia
  • Proof of vaccination
 Canada
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Enter travel information on ArriveCAN 72 hours prior to the trip
 Denmark
  • Proof of vaccination
 Fiji
 Finland
  • Proof of vaccination
 France
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Sworn statement attesting lack of Covid symptoms and absence of contact with a Covid case
 Germany
  • Proof of vaccination
 Italy
 Malaysia
 Maldives
 South Korea
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Complete physical Health Declaration Form and a Special Quarantine Declaration Form (on flight)
 Spain
 Sri Lanka
 Sweden
  • Proof of vaccination
 Switzerland
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Complete Entry Form before arrival
 Thailand
 The Netherlands
 Turkey
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Complete Online Form 72 hours before departure
 United Kingdom

 United States

 

*Note: Remember to check if you need to apply for a visa to the destination country too

 

7) Some countries require additional Covid tests upon arrival

Photo credit: Mufid Majnun via Unsplash

 

Take note that some countries might require you to take a PCR test upon arrival so do check the requirements for your destination country before you go!

Here’s what we know so far: 

Australia: Take a PCR test within 24 hours after arrival and complete a three-day quarantine period. Travellers also need to undergo another PCR test on day six.

 

Cambodia: On-arrival, take an ART test and wait 15-20mins until the results are out.

 

Canada: Travellers can be randomly selected for an on-arrival test.

 

Fiji: Upon arrival, travellers must head to their pre-booked accommodation at a Care Fiji Commitment (CFC) certified property (minimum three-nights) and take an ART test there after two days.

 

Malaysia: An on-arrival PCR and ART test is required via air and land travel respectively. In addition, travellers must complete a professionally administered ART test on day three and five, as well as a self-swab ART test on day two, four and six. The results are to be submitted on the MySejahtera application.

 

South Korea: Before your departure flight, make an online booking for the test at any of the three Covid testing centres in Incheon International Airport.

Travellers must take the test upon arrival and if you remain in South Korea for eight days or more, you are required to take another PCR test at a Korean government-approved medical clinic on day six or seven.

 

Switzerland: A PCR/ART test is required between day four and seven after entry. After which, you must report the results to the competent cantonal office.

 

Thailand: Undergo a PCR test at a pre-booked government-approved hotel where travellers must stay for a night until the results are out. Take a self-swab ART test on day six or seven and submit the result in the MorChana application.

 

Turkey: Travellers can be randomly selected for an on-arrival test.

 

United Kingdom: Take a test at a self-swab facility or a house swab  anytime before day two of your arrival.

 

*Note: Arrival day is counted as day zero for  Australia, South Korea and the United Kingdom

 

8) You need to self-isolate while waiting for your test result

Photo credit: Anthony Tran via Unsplash

 

For countries that require travellers to take a PCR test on arrival, you’ll need to head straight to your accommodation to self-isolate while waiting for the results — usually within 24 hours.

Be sure to book a nice accommodation with an attached toilet as you might not be able to step out for the day. Some sites you can check out are  Agoda, Booking.com, and Expedia, where you can enjoy attractive discounts with UOB Cards. 

 

9) Your return to Singapore must be on a designated VTL flight

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

You can travel to any VTL country on any flight (except South Korea), but you must take a designated VTL flight directly back to Singapore. 

Check which airlines are operating designated VTL flights to Singapore down below:

Airline Country
 Air Asia  Malaysia
 Air France  France
 Air India  India
 Asiana Airlines  South Korea 
 Emirates   United Arab Emirates 
 Eithad Airways   United Arab Emirates 
 Finnair   Finland 
 Garuda Indonesia  Indonesia 
 IndiGo   India 
 British Airways   The United Kingdom 
 Jetstar Airways  Australia
 Jetstar Asia  Australia, Malaysia
 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines  The Netherlands
 Korean Air  South Korea
 Lufthansa  Germany
 Malaysia Airlines  Malaysia
 Malindo Air  Malaysia
 Qantas  Australia
 Qatar Airways  Qatar
 Royal Brunei Airlines  Brunei
 Saudia  Saudi Arabia
 Scoot  Australia, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia
 Singapore Airlines  Australia, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, The United Kingdom, The United States
 SWISS  Switzerland
 Vistara  India
 United Airlines  The United States

 

On another note, you are also required to stay in the VTL destination for at least 14 days before departure to Singapore.

 

10) Tick off this checklist when coming back to Singapore

Photo credit: @glenncarstenspeters via Unsplash

 

Once you’ve booked your flight home, here’s a couple more things you’ll need to do before returning to Singapore.

1) Take a PCR test within 48 hours before departure at an internationally accredited or recognised laboratory, clinic, or medical facility in the country, and test negative for Covid.

2) Submit an SG Arrival Card (SGAC) with pre-trip health and travel history declaration three days before your arrival in Singapore.

3) Book an on-arrival PCR test at Changi Airport before departure.

4) Take a post-arrival supervised ART test on days three and seven at Quick Test Centres (QTC) or Combined Test Centres (CTC).

5) Take a post-arrival self-administered ART test on days two, four, five and six.

You are not allowed to take public transport upon arrival in Singapore so arrange for a private hire straight to your accommodation and self-isolate until you receive a negative result from the Covid test.

*Note: Arrival day is counted as day one for Singapore.

 

Stay updated on the Covid situation

Photo credit: @anniespratt via Unsplash

 

As more VTLs open up, we’re grateful to be able to travel once again. However, we still need to keep in mind the various restrictions in place and stay updated with the ever-changing Covid situation.

Research your destination country a few days before you fly off from resources such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the respective country’s embassy website and various airlines’ websites.

Also look up what are the social distancing rules implemented in the country, such as if masks are mandatory and what you can or cannot do there. 

Bookmark this article as we’ll be updating the ever-changing restrictions as they come. Hopefully in the next update, more VTL countries will be added to this list!


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