In Response to Media Queries on US Vaccination Certificates
1. Under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), vaccination is an important safeguard for quarantine-free entry into Singapore without compromising public health. We require digitally verifiable proof of vaccination to guard against forgery. Currently, we can verify all digital vaccination certificates issued in 15 of the 16 VTL countries: 14 of them have a national system for the issuance of such certificates; Canada does not have a national system but has recently developed a standardised proof of vaccination in the Smart Health Card (SHC) format that is secure and verifiable.
2. The only exception is the United States of America (USA) which does not have a national system or a standardised proof of vaccination. Instead, there are multiple issuers including individual states, pharmacies, and supermarkets. For the USA, we currently accept vaccination certificates that are issued in the SHC format by trusted issuers in the USA on the CommonTrust Network or Vaccination Credential Initiative. The SHC standard is the predominant format used by individual states. There are currently nine states that are issuing SHCs. When we started the VTL for the USA, five states, namely California, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York and Virginia, were issuing SHCs. Since then, four other states, namely Colorado, New Jersey, Utah and Washington State, have started issuing SHCs. Another six more states, namely Arizona, District of Columbia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota and West Virginia are in the process of doing so, while Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oklahoma have started testing the system. Besides the states, pharmacies and healthcare providers such as CVS Health, Rite Aid Pharmacy, UCHealth and Walmart are also issuing SHCs.
3. There are also third-party issuers which do not administer the vaccination but provide their users a digital vaccination record, often for a fee. We are onboarding third-party issuers which check and verify the vaccination records submitted by their users, for example with the state vaccination registries. We are not able to accept the digital certificates issued by third-party issuers which do not do such checks.
4. With the roll out of the SHC across more states and the onboarding of credible third-party issuers, we expect most travellers from the USA to be able to produce a digitally verifiable vaccination certificate within the next one to two months.
5. In the meantime, VTL travellers can provide either (a) their digital vaccination record retrieved through their state’s or local health authority’s public health database, or (b) their physical vaccination record and a letter signed by their vaccination provider to attest to their vaccination status; the attestation letter should contain the traveller’s details and details about his/her vaccination:
• Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents do not need to apply for the Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) and can show either of the above documents for verification at the airlines check-in counter pre-departure and on arrival at the Singapore immigration.
• Short-Term Visitors and Long-Term Pass Holders who need to apply for the VTP but cannot upload their vaccination certificate can apply to the Safe Travel Office at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/contact-us with either of the above documents attached for verification.
6. Travellers are advised to refer to the Safe Travel website for updates on the list of accepted digital vaccination certificates at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/vtl/requirements-and-process. Travellers who require further assistance may write to the Safe Travel Office through their enquiry form (https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/contact-us) or call the Safe Travel Enquiries helpline at +65 6812 5555.