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Singapore to drop major restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors in April

March 24, 2022
5 min read
Singapore Flyers Full View at Blue hour
Singapore to drop major restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors in April
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SHIOK (noun); native slang used in Singapore to express pleasure, happiness and satisfaction.

Forgive us for the language lesson, but there seemed no more fitting word to mark the news that from April 1, Singapore is to drop many of its COVID-19 travel restrictions, including quarantine and arrival tests for fully vaccinated visitors.

The only remaining restriction left in place for the fully vaccinated will be a predeparture test taken within two days of flying to Singapore, though the Ministry of Health suggested this may also be revised within "the coming weeks."

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Other restrictions to be eased include lifting the ban on live music performances, increasing the limit on group gatherings from five to 10 people, and increasing the capacity limits on large events from March 29. Meanwhile, Singaporean residents currently working from home will also be asked to return to the office.

Related: We boarded one of the first British Airways ‘maskless’ flights: It didn’t go as planned

These developments are sure to be welcomed by many travelers who had been looking for a getaway to the city-state, but have been put off by strict COVID-19 restrictions, whereby inbound passengers still need to test after arrival and self-isolate until a negative test is returned.

Presently only travelers from some countries under the Vaccinated Travel Lanes program — which includes the U.S. — are able to avoid quarantine regulations to gain entry to Singapore, but from next month, the easing of rules will be universally applied to all.

“[Double-jabbed travelers] will not need to apply for entry approvals or take designated VTL transport,” read a statement from Singapore’s Health Ministry, which declared fully vaccinated visitors and non-fully vaccinated children age 12 or under can breeze through arrivals beginning next month.

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Singapore city skyline at sunset. (Photo by Pham Le Huong Son/Getty Images)

“We will continue to monitor the local and global COVID-19 situations and consider removing the [predeparture testing] requirement in the coming weeks," the statement read.

The changes will see the retirement of the complicated Vaccinated Travel Lanes system. Under the current requirements visitors to Singapore need to have remained in a VTL country for seven days (reduced from 14 days last month) prior to their arrival.

According to the SIA Group, which owns Singapore Airlines and budget carrier Scoot, travelers currently booked on a VTL flight on or after April 1 may still travel as planned without changes to their booking. Passengers will also be able to transit through Singapore on almost all Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights regardless of their vaccination status from this date -- provided that they meet the entry requirements of their final destination.

“The SIA Group welcomes the latest measures to simplify travel protocols for entry into Singapore. This supports the goal of restoring Singapore’s position as a leading tourist destination and premier air hub," said an SIA spokesperson. "We look forward to welcoming our customers on board our flights, where they will enjoy our warm hospitality and world-class products and services. The SIA Group will continue to closely monitor travel demand, and increase our capacity and services accordingly.”

The news comes as the Singaporean government's attitudes toward the pandemic are softening across all areas. In a speech this week, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the city-state will not only “drastically streamline” COVID-19 rules for travel but also ease the public requirement to wear masks outdoors.

Related: Is it time to rethink COVID-19 travel mandates in the US?

Marina Bay, Singapore. (Photo by Guo Xin Goh/Unsplash)

“Earlier, we were cautious because of uncertainty over omicron’s impact,” the prime minister stated. “Now the omicron situation is well under control. Nearly all our cases are domestic, originating within the community. Arrivals from abroad constitute only a very small proportion of cases. We can therefore safely open up our borders.”

While Europe -- including the United Kingdom -- has seemingly moved toward post-pandemic travel at lightning speed of late, for many Asian countries, progress has been slower. However, this does appear to be changing.

Related: Singapore is reopening: Here’s how to get there using points and miles

Just this Monday, Indonesia eased quarantine requirements across the entire country for visitors who can produce a negative PCR test, while earlier this month South Korea and Malaysia also declared an end to quarantine for vaccinated arrivals beginning April 1.

That said, there is no doubt some of the hard-line approaches to border control from these countries have been effective. Last month, Singapore itself reported that it had prevented over 8,000 COVID-19 deaths in the last five months of 2021, keeping its COVID-19 death rate to 15.7 deaths per 100,000 of the population.

But it’s not only tourism that will benefit from the general easing of domestic COVID-19 guidelines. Singapore is one of the world’s most important travel hubs, so it's a real boon for business travelers as well.

Better brush up on your Malay ...

Featured image by Singapore Flyers Full View @ Blue hour landscape river. Photo by Seng Chye Teo / Gettys
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023