Singapore Extends Vaccinated Travel Lanes to Australia and Switzerland

as part of CAAS’ cautious, step-by-step effort to revive air travel

            Singapore will extend the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme to Australia and Switzerland for entry into Singapore on and after 8 November 2021, as part of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS’) cautious and step-by-step effort to revive air travel and reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity.

2.         Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travellers from these countries may enter Singapore without quarantine and just need to undergo COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing. Children aged 12 years and below who are not vaccinated will be allowed to travel under the VTL into Singapore if they are accompanied by a VTL traveller who meets all VTL requirements.

3.         The VTL is for entry into Singapore. For entry into Australia and Switzerland, travellers are advised to check the entry requirements of the respective countries. CAAS also urges all travellers to exercise care and caution especially when travelling with young children.

Update on the VTL

4.         The VTL was launched on 8 September 2021 for Brunei Darussalam and Germany. As at 25 October 2021, 290 travellers from Brunei Darussalam and 6,226 travellers from Germany have been issued VTPs for travel to Singapore between 8 September and 30 November 2021 (Annex A - Table 1). Of these, 152 VTP holders from Brunei Darussalam and 3,610 from Germany have entered Singapore.

5.         The VTL was extended to eight other countries, namely Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) from 19 October 2021. As at 25 October 2021, 2359 hours, 8,583 travellers from these countries have been issued VTPs for travel to Singapore between 19 October and 30 November 2021 (Annex A - Table 2). Of these, 1,372 VTP holders have entered Singapore. The VTL will be extended to the Republic of Korea (ROK) for entry into Singapore on or after 15 November 2021.

Extension of VTL to Australia and Switzerland

6.         The successful implementation of the VTL scheme has given CAAS the experience and confidence to extend it to more countries. We will continue to do so in a cautious and step-by- step manner without compromising public health. First, both Australia and Switzerland are in Category II of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Country/Region Classification for Border Measures; they have similar or lower COVID-19 incidence rates than Singapore and the other VTL countries. Second, we are opening to them with a key set of essential safeguards, including proof of vaccination and testing. Third, we will keep the numbers manageable through the VTL quotas. With the commencement of the VTLs for Australia and Switzerland, we will increase the current VTL quotas by 1,000, from up to 3,000 to up to 4,000 travellers daily. We will monitor the progress of the scheme closely before deciding on any further increases in capacity.

Australia

7.         Singapore and Australia are longstanding partners with strong people-to-people, economic and defence ties. Pre-COVID, Australia was amongst our top ten markets for annual passenger arrivals at Changi Airport, accounting for about 4% of total arrivals in 2019. Many Singaporeans travelled to Australia for business, leisure and education, and vice versa. More than 50,000 Singaporeans live in Australia and over 25,000 Australians live in Singapore. The VTL will enable them to reconnect with their loved ones back home, whom they have been physically separated from for more than a year. The reopening of borders with Australia will also be a significant step in rebuilding the Singapore air hub and people-to-people connectivity.

8.         Australia recently announced its air travel reopening roadmap, starting with allowing fully vaccinated Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and their immediate families to return to Australia without the need to serve quarantine. On 22 October 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Australia was in the final stages of concluding an arrangement which will see Australia opening up to more visa class holders from Singapore. Details for this arrangement will be announced by Australia later.

9.         Singapore’s VTL for Australia will allow fully vaccinated travellers from Australia to enter Singapore without quarantine, for all purposes of travel. Taken together with Australia’s border measures, the VTL will facilitate two-way quarantine-free travel between the two countries for fully vaccinated Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and their immediate families from 8 November 2021. We also expect student and business pass holders from Singapore to be able to enter Australia, after Australia has finalised the arrangement for their entry. Other travellers from Singapore would not be able to travel to Australia until a later stage.

Switzerland

10.         Switzerland is a major financial centre and ranks among Singapore’s top trading and investment partners. There is a strong business presence of over 1,000 Swiss companies operating in Singapore, amongst them large banks, insurance companies and industry corporates. There are also about 3,000 Swiss expatriates living in Singapore. As Switzerland is highly connected with the other European countries that we have established VTLs with, a VTL for Switzerland will provide travellers with more options for intra-European travel and facilitate greater people-to-people exchanges between Europe and Singapore for business, social visits of friends and relatives, and leisure.

VTL Requirements

11.         All travellers entering Singapore under the VTL will have to comply with the prevailing VTL requirements:


(i)  Travel History

VTL travellers must have remained in one or more of the VTL countries in the last 14 consecutive days prior to departure to Singapore1. If the traveller has been in Singapore within those last 14 days, his/her stay in Singapore can be counted towards fulfilling this 14-day travel history requirement.

(ii)  Testing

All VTL travellers must take two COVID-19 PCR tests:

  • A pre-departure test within 48 hours before departing to Singapore and obtain a negative test result; and
  • An on-arrival test at Changi Airport and remain self-isolated until their test result is confirmed to be negative.

Children aged 2 years and below in the calendar year2 are not required to undergo these tests.

(iii)  Vaccination

Vaccination is a key safeguard of the VTL for safe quarantine-free travel without compromising public health.

All VTL travellers must have been fully vaccinated3 and present their proof of vaccination issued in any VTL country4 or Singapore, regardless of which VTL country the traveller departs from. We require proof of vaccination that is digitally readable and verifiable, to authenticate that the certificate is issued by a trusted issuer and belongs to the VTL traveller5.

Children aged 12 years and below in the calendar year6 are not required to present a proof of vaccination to enter Singapore under the VTL if they are accompanied by a VTL traveller who meets all VTL requirements for entry into Singapore.

(iv)  Designated VTL Flights

Travellers who are travelling to Singapore under the VTL must travel into Singapore on designated VTL flights. They may transit via another VTL country to take a designated VTL flight into Singapore7.

Additional Requirements for Short-Term Visitors and Long-Term Pass Holders

12.         Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will need to apply for a VTP to enter Singapore under the VTL. Fully vaccinated Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents and children aged 12 and below do not need to apply for a VTP to enter Singapore under the VTL. There will be no restrictions on the purpose of travel under the VTL arrangement and no requirement for a controlled itinerary or sponsor.

13.         Applications for the VTPs will open on 1 November 2021, 1000 hours (Singapore time) for fully vaccinated travellers from Australia and Switzerland entering Singapore on or after 8 November 2021.

14.         Short-term visitors who require a visa for travel to Singapore must separately obtain a visa. They are advised to do so after receiving their VTP approval and before departing for Singapore. 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 travel to Singapore. These visitors must also use the TraceTogether app in Singapore to facilitate contact tracing.

15.         More details on the VTL requirements into Singapore can be found in Annex B and at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg. These VTL requirements are applicable to travellers entering Singapore under the VTL. Those who are travelling from Singapore to any of the VTL countries are advised to check the entry requirements imposed by these places and take the necessary precautionary measures.

Safeguarding Public Health

16.         To safeguard public health in Singapore, all travellers entering Singapore must comply with the prevailing health and safe distancing measures in Singapore.

17.         As the global COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continue to adjust our border measures with the appropriate safeguards to ensure public health and safety. This will enable us to transition safely and confidently towards a COVID-19 resilient nation.

Annex A: Update on Vaccinated Travel Lane for Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the USA

Annex B: Summary of Vaccinated Travel Lane Requirements


[1] For example, a traveller departing from Germany to enter Singapore before 8 November 2021, who has been in Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, the USA and/or Singapore in the last 14 consecutive days prior to departure for Singapore fulfills the travel history requirement of the VTL. For travellers entering Singapore on or after 8 November 2021, this list of countries can also include Australia and Switzerland. For travellers entering Singapore on or after 15 November 2021, this list of countries can also include the ROK.

[2] To illustrate, children born in or after 2019 entering Singapore under the VTL in 2021 are not required to undergo the pre-departure or on-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests.

[3] An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or other World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More details can be found at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/health/vtsg.

[4] For travellers entering Singapore before 8 November 2021, the list of VTL countries includes Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the USA. For travellers entering Singapore on or after 8 November 2021, the list of VTL countries will include Australia and Switzerland. For those entering Singapore on or after 15 November 2021, the list will also include the ROK.

[5] Only vaccination certificates that can be digitally verified will be accepted. These vaccination certificates have to contain the necessary information about the travellers’ full vaccination regimen, as specified on the Safe Travel Office website. For travellers vaccinated in Canada or USA, we currently only accept vaccination certificates issued in the SMART Health Card (SHC) format, by issuers in Canada or USA on the CommonTrust Network or Vaccination Credential Initiative.


[6] To illustrate, children born in or after 2009 entering Singapore under the VTL in 2021 are not required to present any proof of vaccination. The child must be accompanied by a VTL traveller who meets all VTL requirements for entry into Singapore.


[7] For example, a traveller from the USA may transit via Germany to take a designated VTL flight from Germany to Singapore.

Last Updated on 26 November 2021