Singapore Adds Six More Countries to VTL Scheme

Quarantines will soon be dropped for vaccinated travelers returning from destinations like Phuket, Siem Reap, Galle, and Istanbul.

The ruins of Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya, Thailand. (Photo: karn684/iStock)

Singapore residents who haven’t planned out their year-end holidays can now look at a dizzying number of options for short- and medium-haul vacations. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has just announced that six new Vaccinated Travel Lanes will be launched in time for Christmas, with quarantine-free entry extended to fully inoculated arrivals from Cambodia, Fiji, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey. Eligible travelers from Thailand will be able to enter Singapore under the VTL from December 14, while those coming in from any of the other aforementioned nations will no longer have to self-isolate starting on the 16th.

CAAS said the move would increase the total number of VTL countries to 27, accounting for about 60 percent of total daily arrivals at Changi Airport in pre-pandemic times. “This latest extension will further broaden Changi’s network and help reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity,” it added in a statement.

Five of the six new VTL countries already allow general quarantine-free travel from Singapore. The Maldives was an early adopter, becoming the first Asian nation to welcome back international tourists in July 2020. Singapore was included on Thailand’s list of low-risk countries when it reopened on November 1, and Cambodia has ended quarantines for all double-jabbed visitors since November 15. Fiji, meanwhile, will be reopening its borders to vaccinated travelers from 40 countries (including Singapore) from December 1.

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