A Guide to Singapore’s Latest Entry Rules

Mandatory quarantines will be dropped for fully vaccinated travelers coming in from Germany and Brunei, while all arrivals from Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan are also exempt.

Singapore Changi Airport by night. (Photo: Shawn Ang/Unsplash)

Travel-starved Singapore residents can now look forward to a fuss-free long-haul vacation in Europe after a year and a half of sweeping border restrictions. From September 8, fully vaccinated Singapore residents using the new Vaccinated Travel Lane from Germany and Brunei will be able to bypass mandatory quarantine on their return by booking specific flights and undergoing several PCR tests at their own expense. The scheme will also be open to inoculated short-term visitors from the two aforementioned countries.

Travelers are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving all necessary doses of any Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. (The jabs developed by AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm, and Sinovac have all been given the green light.) Lion City residents returning from Germany or Brunei to the Lion City must book a seat aboard a Vaccinated Travel Lane flight, which will only carry fully vaccinated passengers; it is understood that these services will be operated by Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, and Royal Brunei Airlines. Applications for the Vaccinated Travel Lane are set to open this Wednesday (September 1).

Short-term visitors can apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass on the SafeTravel portal between seven and 30 days ahead of their planned trip, but will be eligible only if they have remained in Germany or Brunei for the last 21 consecutive days. This rule also applies to Singapore residents who are traveling in Germany, meaning they cannot hop over to neighboring countries such as France, Switzerland, or the Netherlands if they wish to bypass quarantine on their return. Travelers will need to take a PCR test within 48 hours of the departing flight to Singapore, and present the test report at airport check-in along with a digital or printed vaccination certificate.

After undergoing a Covid-19 test at Changi Airport, eligible arrivals must take private transport (including taxis) to their chosen accommodation to await the results of their PCR test, which should be available within 24 hours. Returning residents and visitors alike will need to make an appointment and pay for further tests on the third and seventh days following their arrival in Singapore at designated clinics.

Short-term visitors should also have travel insurance with coverage of at least US$30,000 for medical treatment and hospitalization in case of a Covid-19 diagnosis. For contact tracing purposes, they must download the TraceTogether app and activate it immediately after clearing immigration at Changi. Visitors are required to retain the app data for 21 days following their departure from Singapore.

Inside the Shiseido Forest Valley at Jewel Changi Airport. (Photo: Sreehari Devadas/Unsplash)

Updated Border Measures [As of August 30, 2021]

The Singaporean government has recently reclassified all countries and territories into four risk-based categories, with health measures dependent on each travelers’s 21-day travel history before their arrival in the Lion City.

Category I, denoting the lowest risk of Covid-19 transmission, currently includes just four jurisdictions: Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan. Short-term visitors from these places will be able to enter Singapore quarantine-free. While they do not need to take any pre-departure PCR tests, they must still be swabbed on arrival at Changi.

Category II covers Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as unvaccinated travelers from Brunei and Germany. Returning Singapore residents must serve a seven-day Stay Home Notice at their place of residence, a hotel, or serviced apartment, and get tested for Covid-19 on day seven of their arrival. (Pre-departure tests are also not required for Category II arrivals.)

New Zealand was formerly included under Category I, but the growing Delta variant–driven outbreak in Auckland has prompted Singapore to tighten entry restrictions over the weekend. With these updated rules, visitors holding an Air Travel Pass with travel history to New Zealand within the last 21 days will not be allowed to enter the city-state.

Meanwhile, returning residents arriving from Category III countries such as Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland are required to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure at an internationally accredited or recognized medical facility. After the on-arrival Covid-19 test at Changi, travelers must spend 14 days in a dedicated isolation facility and self-administer an antigen rapid test on days 3, 7, and 11 of their arrival, before taking a PCR test at the end of the quarantine period. Fully vaccinated Singapore residents can apply to isolate at home or in a hotel or serviced residence of their choice if they live alone or with fully inoculated family members who have the same travel history.

The health measures for arrivals from Category IV places are identical to those for Category III travelers, but returning Singapore citizens and long-term pass holders will not be able to opt out of dedicated quarantine facilities.

More information here.

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