With the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, we spent many days pondering when Singapore’s borders would reopen for leisure travel.
Much to our delight, Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) were recently announced between 11 countries: Germany, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, with South Korea starting 15 November 2021. Those who are fully vaccinated will be able to embark on these two-way, quarantine-free trips by taking pre-departure and on-arrival PCR tests.
Although hopping on long-haul flights to visit international destinations is a reality again, be sure to read up on the stringent travel process, eligibility, and documentation requirements before you book your tickets. There’s nothing worse than booking your entire trip, only to be barred from boarding a flight or entering a country.
Here’s a list of some of our favourite destinations for fully-vaccinated travellers, which include some VTL countries, as well as others we hope will establish a travel lane with Singapore in the near future.
Since 7 September 2021, fully vaccinated travellers departing from Germany can enter Singapore without the need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN). The new VTL states that travellers must undergo COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests such as a pre-departure test and on-arrival test.
If you’re travelling from Singapore to Germany, you can travel freely without serving quarantine if you have not stayed within an area of variant of concern during the last 10 days. Currently, Germany has imposed a partial lockdown, with measures varying between different cities. Make sure you take note of them!
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has recently announced its plans to fly four times a week to Vancouver and Seattle in the United States from December 2021 to February 2022. SIA has claimed that two of the weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore flights plan to operate as VTL services, granting eligible travellers into Singapore without serving quarantine.
SIA flights to/from Canada start from $878.
Thailand has plans to do away with quarantine for vaccinated travellers from Singapore, starting 1 November 2021. Previously a well-loved travel destination, this Southeast Asian country’s tourism sector has taken quite a blow. It’s become so serious that Thailand’s Prime Minister to ask the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to “urgently consider” allowing fully vaccinated travellers from “low-risk” countries to visit Thailand without quarantine, as long as they undergo PCR tests.
Singapore has opened the VTL for UK travellers, as long as they are fully vaccinated. They must apply for a vaccinated travel pass (VTP) at least a week in advance, and applications for the VTP is currently open, according to the Singapore Tourism Board. Do take note that travellers will have to take multiple PCR tests before and after flying.
Flights to the UK start at $453.
Beginning this week, travellers from the United States will be able to enter Singapore without the need to serve a quarantine period. As long as they are fully vaccinated, have applied for a vaccinated travel pass (VTP), and have undergone a pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure with a negative result, they do not need to undergo quarantine upon arrival. The United States is also open to travellers from Singapore.
SIA is offering flights starting from $938.
Perhaps one of the best announcements Singaporeans have received thus far is being able to travel to South Korea again, without needing to serve SHN as long as they test negative for COVID-19 on their PCR tests. From 15 November 2021, those who love Korean food and K-dramas will be able to travel to South Korea without any restrictions on the purpose of travel.
Korean Air is offering flights to Korea from $594.90.
Australia is planning to start a travel bubble with Singapore as part of the country's aim to reopen international travel. According to Australia's Prime Minister, the travel bubble for fully vaccinated travellers (favouring work and study visas) has plans to be in place by the end of November. Tourists could possibly even travel to Australia in December. Stay tuned for more information as it gets released by the government.