Tourism is one of the industries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting all countries’ economies, livelihoods, opportunities, and public services.
Before the health crisis, travel and tourism had become one of the essential industries in the world economy, accounting for around 10% of the global GDP and over 320 million jobs worldwide.
However, when the global pandemic hit, about 100 million jobs in the tourism sector were put at risk, and some experts predict that worldwide tourism receipts will not recover until 2023.
Fortunately, for those whose jobs depend on the industry and those who are already eager to travel, the vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) have now been put in place in many countries.
VTL is essentially a measure adopted by numerous countries, including Singapore, to make travelling easier for vaccinated individuals. Read on to learn more about VTL and what you should expect when travelling to Singapore.
What is VTL?
VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) is a measure that enables travelers who are completely vaccinated from certain countries or regions to enter Singapore with relative ease for whatever purpose of visit. These travelers will no longer need to serve a stay-home notice in Singapore.
In other words, if you have been completely vaccinated and you meet all the VTL requirements, you can already enjoy a quarantine-free entry to the country.
Aside from Singapore, numerous other countries have already adopted this measure to help their tourism industry bounce back and encourage vaccination. Here are the VTL-active countries so far:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Who is eligible for VTL?
To be eligible for VTL in Singapore, you need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days after receiving the full dosage of any approved vaccine brands in the country, such as Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna, and WHO EUL vaccines. You must then present proof of vaccination issued before your planned entry date.
Since October 19, 2021, children aged 12 and below who are unvaccinated are already allowed to enter the country on the VTL. They are no longer required to apply for a vaccinated travel pass (VTP), provided that they comply with all other VTL conditions and are accompanied by a fully vaccinated VTL adult.
Aside from complete vaccination, here are some of the most important requirements you need to comply with to be eligible for VTL:
- Stay only in one or more of the VTL countries for 14 consecutive days before departing for Singapore
- Take designated VTL flights
- Undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Antigen Rapid Test (ART) test within 48 hours at an internationally accredited or recognised laboratory or clinic before departure to Singapore
- Undergo another PCR test upon arrival in Singapore
- Remain self-isolated until a negative COVID-19 PCR result is received (usually within 24 hours)
If you are a short-term visitor entering Singapore, you are required to download and register a profile on the TraceTogether application for contact tracing in case you become close contact.
You will also need to avail of an insurance policy for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation expenses, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000.
Moreover, between 7 and 30 calendar days before your intended arrival date in Singapore, you need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP), whether you are a short-term or a long-term pass holder.
If you are a visitor who require a visa for travelling to the country, you should also obtain a valid one after receiving your VTP approval. For this reason, travellers who need to apply for a visa are encouraged to apply for their VTP early.
For those arriving: What should you do when you land in Singapore?
Even when you are already in Singapore, you will still be required to undergo post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests at a designated laboratory or clinic by 3pm on your 3rd and 7th days of stay in the country. The date of the tests and a list of approved clinics will be emailed to you upon your arrival in Singapore.
If you fail to undergo the required PCR tests on the 3rd and 7th days of your stay, you may be liable for violating Section 16 of the Infectious Diseases Act (IDA) and will either be fined up to $20,000 or imprisoned for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
Should you require hospitalisation or treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore, you will be responsible for your medical bills.
For more than two years, the COVID-19 crisis has affected so many lives worldwide, jeopardising livelihoods and restricting lifestyles. The tourism industry is undoubtedly one sector that has suffered the most damage.
Fortunately, with the implementation of VTL in many countries like Singapore, workers in the tourism sector can now breathe easier, and travellers can already wipe the dust off their passports.
Health screening is crucial, especially in times of a pandemic. To make sure you are healthy and fit to travel from country to country, avail of a health screening package in Singapore before you go for your next trip.
If you are experiencing any symptoms, whether of COVID-19 or other illness, do not hesitate to consult your doctor for advice on remote care.
Through the MyCLNQ app, you can already access a wide arrange of health services with ease. As the leading one-stop provider of telemedicine in Singapore, MyCLNQ will your health needs are all within reach, whether it is purchasing medicines via pharmaceutical e-commerce, hiring private ambulance services, or others.