It’s about to get a lot easier to visit Singapore
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Looking to travel to Singapore in the near future? Buckle up and brace yourself for some exciting news.
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As of Feb. 22, passengers arriving at Changi Airport (SIN) will no longer need to take a PCR test nor isolate on their arrival. Instead, travelers will need to only take one supervised self-swab at an official testing center within 24 hours of arrival in the city-state – a great deal easier than the recently-implemented daily rapid tests across the first week.
Indeed, visiting Singapore will soon be a relative breeze for many travelers who’ve previously been hampered by strict COVID-19 guidelines. As well as softening the blow on credit cards (on-arrival PCR tests had been as much as $100, scrapping the current tests will change the game entirely for travelers keen to explore without the hassle of constantly self-swabbing for seven days straight.
The new rules are applicable to all fully vaccinated travelers whose country of origin is part of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), a special Singapore travel corridor open to passengers from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, The Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, The U.K., the U.S, now also Hong Kong, and as of Feb. 25, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The new ruling also affects travelers hopping between countries on the VTL list. At present, visitors to Singapore need to have remained in a VTL country for 14 days prior to their arrival at Changi, but now this has been cut down to just seven days in a bid to make it easier for holidaymakers and business travelers alike.
(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/ The Points Guy)
Expect Singapore to drop restrictions for other countries in the coming months, too, as officials this week stated that they intend to scrap testing vaccinated travelers once the omicron wave has flattened. “Instead of having vaccinated travel lanes or VTLs with selected countries that we think are low risk, we should actually allow SHN-free travel for fully-vaccinated travelers from all countries,” said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung “We should make this transition not now, but after omicron wave has peaked and start to subside.”
However, it may have impacted your travel plans to date, there’s no doubt Singapore’s hardline approach to border control during the pandemic has been effective. Last week, its government 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. By comparison, in December 2021 mortality rates for deaths due to COVID-19 in England were 56.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
Now of course, with these imminent changes for vaccinated travelers, the Asian city-state will be looking to take its seat as a global super hub for business and leisure once again. We’ll raise a Singapore Sling to that.
Featured photo by Seng Chye Teo/Getty Images.
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