The Singapore Government has announced on 16 February 2022 that with effect of 21 February 2022, 2359 hours (Singapore Time), the following border measures will be applicable:
- Travel history requirement will be reduced from 14 to 7 days
- SHN duration will be standardised to 7 days across all country/region categories in view of Omicron’s shorter incubation period
- Enhanced testing regime for travellers arriving on VTLs will cease
- Streamlining the country/region classification. The existing Categories II, III, and IV will be combined into a single General Travel category. For now, all travellers from Category I countries/regions, which have very low infection rates, will continue to enjoy quarantine-free travel arrangements as well. Singapore will also create a new Restricted category for countries/regions with developing COVID-19 situations that warrant stricter border measures imposed on arrivals where currently there is no countries/regions that falls under this category.
- VTL and Category I travellers will no longer need to perform an on-arrival PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test. Instead, they will have up to 24 hours from their entry into Singapore to take a supervised self-swab (SSS) ART at one of the testing centres located across Singapore; and
- Fully Vaccinated *Long-Term Pass Holders (except Work Permit holders) will no longer have to obtain a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) or an Entry Approval to enter Singapore. They will however still be subjected to the prevailing immigration entry requirements and health protocols
*Long-term pass holders would refer to those with Employment Pass, Dependent Pass or S Pass holders. This applies to IPA holders as well.
We have included the below summary table (accurate as of the time of publication) for easy reference:
Summary of Border Measures from 21 February 2022, 2359 hours
|Summary of Country/ Region Classification for Recent 7-day travel history
(for entry into Singapore from 21 February 2022, 2359 hours)
|Low-Infection (Category I)||General Travel (Category II/III/IV)||Restricted|
|Countries/ Regions||Macao, Mainland China and Taiwan||Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States||All other Countries/ Regions||Nil for now|
Relevant Border Health Measures
|1. Pre-Departure Antigen-Rapid Test (ART) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test within 2 days before departure for Singapore||1. Pre-Departure PCR Test within 2 days before departure for Singapore|
|2. On-Arrival Supervised Self Swab (SSS) ART within 24 hours of entry||2.N/A||2. On-Arrival PCR Test|
|3. N/A||3. Seven (7) day Stay Home Notice (SHN) at declared place of accommodation||3. Seven (7) day SHN at dedicated SHN facility|
|4. N/A||4. SHN exit PCR test|
Note: Travellers, who are not Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or LTPHs, may enter Singapore for short-term visits only if: (a) they are arriving from Category I countries/ regions (with travel histories in the past 7-days in these countries/ regions and/or Singapore); or (b) there are specific arrangements for short-term visits (e.g. VTLs, Reciprocal Green Lanes).
Restoring and Expanding Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL)
- To further facilitate vaccinated travel, Singapore will restore and progressively increase VTL quotas. VTL (Air) quotas will be fully restored with immediate effect. VTL (Land) quotas will be fully restored from 22 February 2022 (sales for additional bus tickets will commence on 16 February 2022).
- A new VTL with Hong Kong and the previously deferred VTLs with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will also be launched. VTP applications for travel from these four countries/regions will open on 22 February 2022, 1000 hours, and the first VTL flights will take place from 25 February 2022. Singapore will progressively launch VTLs with more destinations as we move towards facilitating fully vaccinated travel.
- Bi-directional quarantine-free sea travel between Singapore and Indonesia will resume with the launch of VTL (Sea) from Bintan and Batam. The VTL (Sea) will benefit users of Indonesia’s travel bubble to specific resorts in Bintan and Batam and facilitate short-term leisure travel. VTP applications will open on 22 February 2022, 1000 hours, and the first ferry trip will take place on 25 February 2022.
Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the relevant authorities in Singapore may, at their own discretion, introduce new measures or requirements to safeguard public health, which may include variation of the conditions mentioned above at short notice.
Our comments on the latest update
With this welcomed update from the Singapore Government and travels to resume in due course, it is still critical to stay connected with your employees, so that Companies have visibility over their current location and travel plans. Future travels should continue to be planned while taking into consideration travel restrictions in their destination countries and if the travel itinerary would impact the ease of return. However, with more concessions in place for entry and Vaccinated Travel Lanes to leverage on, there is more assurance that individuals can now exit and re-enter Singapore with ease, given the Government’s continuous commitment to reopening the borders in a safe and controlled manner.