VTL: What you need to know about travelling to countries under the scheme

·10 min read
A Singapore Airlines aircraft departs Changi International Airport.
A Singapore Airlines aircraft departs Changi International Airport. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Since September, Singapore has been implementing the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) arrangement to allow fully-vaccinated travellers from other countries to enter the city-state without the need to serve a COVID-19-related quarantine.

Brunei and Germany were the first two countries to come under this travel arrangement in September, and on Tuesday (19 October), the first travellers from eight countries – Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States – will be able to travel to Singapore. 

From 8 November, fully-vaccinated travellers from Australia and Switzerland, including children aged 12 and below, may enter Singapore without quarantine as part of the VTL scheme. On 15 November, South Korea will also be setting up mutual VTLs with Singapore.

With the VTL arrangement, it is now possible for fully-vaccinated Singapore residents to go for quarantine-free leisure travel, should these countries be open to visitors. But with each country having its own requirements for admitting travellers, what are the various considerations that Singapore residents should be aware of before they book a holiday trip to these countries?

Here's a handy guide to the various COVID-19 travel requirements of these countries under the VTL arrangement:

AUSTRALIA

Can I travel to the country for leisure: No. Australia’s borders are currently closed. The only people who can travel to Australia are: Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members and travellers who have been in New Zealand for at least the 14 days before the date of departure. 

Student and business pass holders from Singapore are expected to be able to enter Australia once it has finalised the arrangements for their entry.  

BRUNEI

Can I travel to the country for leisure: No. Brunei has imposed an entry ban on all foreign visitors, including transit passengers, from 24 March 2020 until further notice. 

Foreign visitors seeking to enter Brunei must receive prior approval from the Brunei Department of Immigration and National Registration.

CANADA

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Fully-vaccinated foreign nationals may be allowed enter Canada for discretionary travel.

What are the entry requirements: All travellers aged five or older must provide proof of a COVID-19 negative molecular test, such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result, or proof of a previous positive COVID-19 test result taken between 14 and 180 days earlier. Antigen rapid test (ART) results will not be accepted.

Travellers must download the free ArriveCAN app, and use it to enter proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information up to 72 hours before travel.

Upon entry to Canada by air or at a land border crossing, travellers may be selected for a mandatory randomised arrival COVID-19 test.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age do not need to quarantine if accompanied by fully-vaccinated travellers, but must observe all the testing requirements.

Unvaccinated youths 12 to 17 years of age, as well as unvaccinated dependents over 18 years of age, are subject to the 14-day quarantine in addition to all testing requirements.

DENMARK

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Singapore is classified under the "Yellow" country category for entry into Denmark. Travellers from this category are not required to have a "worthy purpose" for entry into the European nation.

What are the entry requirements: There are no entry requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers, or those have previously tested positive for COVID-19. This means no testing or isolation is required on arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers must present either a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entry into Denmark, or an ART taken no more than 48 hours before entry. They must also take another COVID-19 test upon entry to Denmark.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Children below the age of 16 are exempt from test and isolation requirements. The same applies to those below the age of 18, if they travel with a parent who is fully vaccinated or previously infected with COVID-19.

FRANCE

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. In line with France's three-tiered system of border controls, all travellers from Singapore are classified under the “Green” list, and are able to enter France, including for short-term visits.

What are the entry requirements: Fully-vaccinated travellers are not subject to any health measures.

Unvaccinated travellers aged 11 years or older must present a negative PCR or antigenic test taken less than 72 hours before the flight.

According to the French Embassy in Singapore, if a traveller’s vaccination certificate is digitally authenticated, it will be recognised by French border control authorities as proof of vaccination. 

Travellers from Singapore will also need to fill in a declaration form that they have no COVID-19 symptoms and are not a close contact of an infected person here.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Unvaccinated children aged 12 and below will need to present a negative PCR test result taken less than 72 hours before the flight to France.

GERMANY

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Since 27 October last year, Germany has lifted all entry restrictions for all Singapore residents, regardless of their nationality or the purpose of their journey. 

What are the entry requirements: All individuals aged six years or older travelling to Germany by air must hold proof of one of the following before entering Germany: full vaccination, a negative PCR test result carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 infection.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Unvaccinated children may enter Germany without quarantine when accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.

ITALY

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Those with travel history in Singapore in the 14 days prior to entry are allowed to enter Italy for non-essential visits.

What are the entry requirements: All travellers from Singapore must fill out a digital Passenger Locator Form and present it before boarding their flights. 

Travellers must also show proof of vaccination as well as a negative PCR test result in the 72 hours before they arrive in Italy.

Unvaccinated travellers or those who cannot produce the negative test result may still enter Italy, but will have to self-isolate for five days, before taking another COVID-19 test.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Minors aged 17 and below are exempt for self-isolation if they are accompanied by an adult who is also exempt from such a requirement. 

Those aged between six and 17 will need to to undergo a molecular or antigenic test upon entry, while children aged five and below do not have to.

NETHERLANDS

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. As of 27 October last year, all travellers from Singapore are allowed to enter the Netherlands, regardless of the purpose of journey or nationality.

What are the entry requirements: Travellers from Singapore are currently not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test on entry, and do not need to quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.

Travellers aged 13 and above must fill in a health declaration form and carry it with them.

Travellers are also advised to take a coronavirus test after arriving in the Netherlands. Vaccinated travellers should do self-tests before meeting other people, while unvaccinated ones should do self-tests on the second day and fifth day after arrival.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Unvaccinated children may enter the Netherlands without quarantine when accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.

SOUTH KOREA

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes from 15 November. Under the mutual VTLs to be set up between Singapore and South Korea, fully-vaccinated travellers can enjoy quarantine-free non-essential visits.

What are the entry requirements: Administrative details such as visa requirements, application procedures, and PCR test requirements have not been finalised yet.

SPAIN

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Singapore is not in Spain's list of risk countries/areas, and travellers will be able to enter Spain without the need of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

What are the entry requirements: All persons entering Spain from other countries must complete the Health Control Form and obtain their QR to present at boarding and health controls on arrival.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age are not required to produce a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination for entry into Spain.

SWITZERLAND

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. All fully-vaccinated travellers from Singapore are permitted to enter Switzerland and are not required to self-quarantine upon arrival.

What are the entry requirements: Everyone entering Switzerland must present an entry form. Fully-vaccinated travellers need to also show their certificate of vaccination.

Travellers entering Switzerland who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID-19 will have to present a negative test result. They will then have to be tested again after four to seven days.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Persons under the age of 18 who have not been vaccinated are permitted to enter Switzerland if they are travelling with a fully-vaccinated adult.

UNITED KINGDOM

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Singapore is not in the UK's red list country or territory, and therefore travellers do not need to serve a 10-day quarantine upon arrival.

What are the entry requirements: Fully-vaccinated travellers to England will need to complete a passenger locator form and submit it in the 48 hours before entry to England.

They must also pre-book and pay for a COVID-19 test that must be taken on or before day two of their arrival in England.

Unvaccinated travellers will also need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test in the three days before travel to England, serve a 10-day quarantine at their place of stay on arrival, and pre-book a COVID-19 test on their eighth day in England.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Children aged 11 to 17 will have to take a COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result before travelling to England.

On entry, children aged five to 17 will have serve a 10-day quarantine and take COVID-19 tests on their second day and eighth day of their arrival in England.

Children aged four or under do not have to take travel tests, but must follow the quarantine rules.

Do note that there are separate guides to entry to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

UNITED STATES

Can I travel to the country for leisure: Yes. Singapore is not among the list of countries/territories that the US has imposed travel restrictions on.

What are the entry requirements: All airline passengers to the US aged two years and above must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three calendar days of travel. 

Alternatively, they may provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.

How can I travel with unvaccinated children: Unvaccinated children under the age of two may enter the US without quarantine when accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.

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