Vaccinated Americans Can Soon Travel To Singapore

Vaccinated Americans Can Soon Travel To Singapore

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Vaccinated Americans will soon be able to travel to Singapore — this is happening a lot sooner than I was expecting!

Singapore expands “Vaccinated Travel Lane”

In mid-August, Singapore announced the concept of a “Vaccinated Travel Lane” (VTL), opening up the door for fully vaccinated travelers to enter Singapore without quarantine. This concept was initially trialed with Germany and Brunei, but will now be expanding to nine more countries.

As of October 19, 2021, Singapore’s VTL will open up to Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Then as of November 15, 2021, Singapore’s VTL will open up to South Korea.

With this development, vaccinated Singaporeans will be able to travel to these countries without having to quarantine on the way back, and similarly, vaccinated people from those countries will be able to visit Singapore without having to quarantine. However, traveling as part of this arrangement requires taking a dedicated VTL flight, which are specific nonstop flights between these countries (I assume this policy will continue, as I haven’t seen anything stating otherwise).

Americans will soon be able to travel to Singapore

Singapore eliminating part of travel testing requirement

When the VTL concept first launched, there was quite a bit of testing required. In addition to being tested before departure and on arrival, you also needed to be tested on days three and seven in Singapore. As of October 19, 2021, this will be simplified:

  • Travelers going as part of the VTL scheme will need a pre-departure PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure
  • Travelers will need to be tested on arrival

There will no longer be tests on days three and seven, so that at least makes the process of traveling to Singapore easier. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has stated that these two tests provide sufficient safeguards for detecting and isolating imported coronavirus cases, and that this will reduce the cost and improve convenience for travelers.

It’s stated that 1,926 people have visited Singapore from Germany and Brunei as part of the VTL, and of those, only two imported cases have been reported, and both were detected on arrival.

Singapore’s travel testing requirement is being reduced

This is a fantastic development

Among countries that took extreme measures to safeguard residents from coronavirus, Singapore is the first to open to Americans (at least as far as I know). Now, this comes at a time when Singapore is seeing a huge surge in cases, but the country has also recognized that with a vast majority of the population vaccinated, it’s time to lift restrictions and to return to (a new) normal.

All that being said:

  • I think this is fantastic for Singaporeans who want to travel, since all kinds of destinations are now accessible to them without having to quarantine on the way back
  • As much as I love Singapore, it’s ultimately a stopover city I like to visit for a few days at a time enroute to another destination, rather than a destination I’ll fly halfway around the world to visit
  • I like visiting Singapore in conjunction with a beach destination, so until Bali, Thailand, etc., open up in a meaningful way with no quarantine or meaningful restrictions, I doubt I’ll make it to Singapore
Now if only Bali would (actually) open to travelers

Bottom line

Singapore will shortly be opening to vaccinated travelers from nine more countries, including the United States, as part of its “Vaccinated Travel Lane” (VTL) concept. This is an exciting development, as it allows quarantine-free travel in both directions. Not only that, but Singapore is also cutting testing requirements in conjunction with VTL, which makes this much more attractive.

I’m happy to see that Singapore is starting to live with coronavirus in terms of travel restrictions. Now here’s to hoping other countries in the region similarly lift restrictions, so that a trip to Singapore might actually be in the cards.

What do you make of Singapore’s reopening plan? Anyone planning to visit with this arrangement?

(Tip of the hat to SINJim)

Conversations (23)
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  1. Fairplay500

    Maybe Ben Schlappig should start a movement to get the State governments to issue some form of digital passports for US travelers. Most Alabamians haven't stepped out of Alabama. Start there...

  2. Fairplay500

    Not everyone ( who are vaccinated ) in the US can travel. Why? States like Alabama,one of the dumbest states in the union have BANNED Vaccine passport which makes it difficult to travel like to places like Cairo.

  3. omegalul

    Hopefully other SE Asian countries will follow suit sooon. It's a great place to stop over for a few days, but I wouldn't want to stay there for a two week vacation.

  4. Jay

    AFAIK Phuket is already open, but the island is kind of sealed off from rest of Thailand. You might consider Phuket as your "beach" close to Singapore if it suits your taste...

  5. philelltt

    You might want to check the regulations for eating out and hotel stays in Singapore. It used to be fun to invite friends and family to a buffet meal in nice hotels there. But that's what used to be. Now things changed.

  6. Adi89

    It seems as though most Americans won't actually be able to use this though.. They will only accept "SMART Health Cards" as proof of vaccination. And you have to have had these given to you by the vaccine provider, but since most people were vaccinated in mass vaccination sites that have no digital database of your vaccination record, it seems impossible to get this.. Anyone have any ideas of how to actually get that if...

    It seems as though most Americans won't actually be able to use this though.. They will only accept "SMART Health Cards" as proof of vaccination. And you have to have had these given to you by the vaccine provider, but since most people were vaccinated in mass vaccination sites that have no digital database of your vaccination record, it seems impossible to get this.. Anyone have any ideas of how to actually get that if you were vaxxed in these mass vaccination sites?

    1. Fairplay500

      Alabama is one dumb State that does not provide digital (QR code ) and there seem to be no resolution to this problem.

      https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/09/24/1039799749/coronavirus-faq-is-there-an-app-thatll-prove-im-vaccinated-or-is-paper-the-best

  7. Ed

    I would never step foot in that anti-gay s-hole “country.” Why would you?

  8. Adam

    Does it say anything about children who are too young to be vaccinated? Can they travel with their vaccinated parents? I didn't see anything about this on the linked page.

    1. Fed UP

      Kids need to stay at home, not be on an 18 hour flight to SIN

    2. Adi89

      I was just reading their FAQ and unfortunately they are not making any exceptions for children, regardless of whether they are eligible to be vaccinated.

  9. fatty380

    Good news but it’s probably tough for many people who can’t get smart health Covid vaccine digital certificate in their hands including myself. I’m fully vaccinated but I simply can’t get QR code off from provider’s website But I admit it’s smart move by Singapore to not accept CDC paper.

  10. Ryan

    I know United is happy about this!

  11. Jason

    Same here. I love Singapore, but won't go till I can visit other nearby destinations like Bali.

  12. GBOAC

    People who have been recently infected may show a positive PCR test for several months after the infection -- the PCR test is very sensitive and can detect small amounts of dead remnant virus. Does anyone have any information about how the case of someone who has long past contagion but may still show a positive PCR test is handled.

  13. Creditcrunch

    It’s been reported this easement is targeting business traffic rather than holiday travel, either way we need to start operating up the World economy.

  14. DonnyBrasco

    this is a great development. .Singapore is not just a transit hub…spending 2-3 days on the ground is plenty of fun. I also did not realize airlines have to opt in for this VTL program?

  15. Boise

    This opens another great way to get in and out of the Maldives through Asia since Cathay stopped servicing Male.

  16. Sean M.

    Doesn't the VTL require that you must travel directly from your country of citizenship and also that you must have spent the previous three weeks consecutively in that country? If so, those are more onerous restrictions for many business travelers than the testing requirements.

    1. GuiTaR

      The rules have changed. Travel history is now only 14 days and one can travel between VTL countries (for example, I've already booked a flight home LHR-FRA on LH connecting to FRA-SIN on SQ VTL flight). Citizenship has never been an issue/requirement. The passenger only needs to be within a VTL country for 14 days and provide the necessary vaccination info (I'm less informed on how this works as I'm vaccinated in SG).

  17. Bill

    Hi Ben. You’re right. Singapore is not a tourist destination. This opening up is more a business decision to allow business travel. As it is, it seems for now, only Singapore airlines has announced their flights to be eligible for these vaccinated travel with the USA. There is no word from United Airlines or other European airlines (apart from Lifthansa from Germany) if they will have dedicated planes for this.

    1. GuiTaR

      I read that BA and KLM will also potentially run VTL flights.

    2. GuiTaR

      https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/sc-pr/vtl

      Also Air France, Asiana and Korean Air. Still awaiting the approved route for Canada as that will require a connection somewhere given no direct flights to SIN.

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GuiTaR

The rules have changed. Travel history is now only 14 days and one can travel between VTL countries (for example, I've already booked a flight home LHR-FRA on LH connecting to FRA-SIN on SQ VTL flight). Citizenship has never been an issue/requirement. The passenger only needs to be within a VTL country for 14 days and provide the necessary vaccination info (I'm less informed on how this works as I'm vaccinated in SG).

Sean M.

Doesn't the VTL require that you must travel directly from your country of citizenship and also that you must have spent the previous three weeks consecutively in that country? If so, those are more onerous restrictions for many business travelers than the testing requirements.

Bill

Hi Ben. You’re right. Singapore is not a tourist destination. This opening up is more a business decision to allow business travel. As it is, it seems for now, only Singapore airlines has announced their flights to be eligible for these vaccinated travel with the USA. There is no word from United Airlines or other European airlines (apart from Lifthansa from Germany) if they will have dedicated planes for this.

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