Singapore – Germany VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane): All you need to know

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The Singapore - Germany VTL will commence on 8 September 2021. Here's the full details, including eligible flights and testing requirements.

Singapore residents will soon be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to and from Germany under the new Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangement that commences from 8 September 2021. 

This marks the first time in almost 18 months that Singaporeans have been able to travel to and from an overseas country with no quarantine on either side. 

Source: Wego Travel

In this article, we’ll do a detailed rundown of the entire VTL process, including pre-requisites, designated flights, and travel insurance.

I’ve also shared my personal travel plan for the VTL, and explained Germany’s current COVID-19 restrictions and positive test protocol.

✈️ Singapore- Germany VTL
VTL Information (ICA)
🇸🇬 Singapore- Germany VTL 🇩🇪
Before You Go
Trip Report
After Return

Vaccine Travel Lane: Process

🇸🇬 In a nutshell: Singapore – Germany VTL 🇩🇪
  • Must have stayed in Singapore and/or Germany for the past 14 consecutive days
  • Must be fully vaccinated in Singapore or Germany
  • Must take designated VTL flights from Germany to Singapore
  • Must apply for a VTP (visitors and Singapore pass holders only)
  • Take pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test in Germany
  • No SHN on arrival in Singapore; PCR test on arrival and on Days 3 & 7
  • Children under age of 12 are not eligible for VTL travel

There is no special process involved when travelling to Germany. You do not need to take a pre-departure test, nor book a special flight. 

Instead, the VTL process begins on your return to Singapore. Here’s the detailed steps required for VTL travel. 

(1) Apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP)

A VTP is not required for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will need to apply for a VTP between 7 and 30 days before their intended arrival in Singapore. 

VTP Application Link

A successful VTP application will be approved immediately, and there is no fee payable. Each traveler requires a VTP of his/her own, and each VTP is valid for a single entry. 

(2) Take a pre-departure PCR test in Germany

Germany does not require vaccinated Singapore residents to take a PCR test before departure to Germany. 

However, all VTL travellers must take a pre-departure PCR test within 48 hours of their flight to Singapore. The test must be taken at an MOH-recognised institution, and antigen rapid tests/self-administered PCR tests are not accepted. 

Expect to pay around €69 (~S$110) for a test. 

(3) Book a designated VTL flight

While it does not matter what flight you take to Germany (you’ll still want to fly direct though,  since transiting in another country will impact your eligibility for VTL travel back to Singapore), VTL travellers can only take designated flights back to Singapore.

FlightsDays
SQ325
SMTWTFS
FRA
2200
SIN
1625
(+1)
    
SQ331
SMTWTFS
MUC
1315
SIN
0705
(+1)
     
LH778
SMTWTFS
FRA
2155
SIN
1645
(+1)
     ✔ 

I’ll talk about pricing and award space in a separate section below.

(4) Take an on-arrival PCR test at Changi Airport

VTL travellers must pre-book their on-arrival PCR test at Changi Airport, which can be done via the link below. This will cost S$160 nett per person.

Changi Airport post-arrival COVID-19 test

After you’re swabbed, you can leave the airport and proceed directly (via private transportation, taxi or private hire car) to your declared place of accommodation. This must be an individual room with an attached toilet at a residential or non-residential accommodation. If there are non-travelling members of your household, you do not need to have the entire house to yourself- just the individual room with an attached toilet. 

Once you receive notification of your negative test result, you can proceed with activities in Singapore as per normal. t

(5) Take post-arrival PCR tests on Day 3 and Day 7

During this period, VTL travellers can go about normal life with no restrictions. However, they must take two more PCR tests on Day 3 and 7 after their return, where Day 1 refers to the date of arrival in Singapore. No self-isolation is required after either test. 

Clinics for Day 3 & 7 Tests

The following illustration is provided:

“If the traveller clears arrival immigration at 2330 hours (Singapore time) on 1 October 2021 (i.e. Day 1), he/she is required to undergo COVID-19 PCR tests on 3 October 2021 (i.e. Day 3) and 7 October 2021 (i.e. Day 7).

If the traveller clears arrival immigration at 0030 hours (Singapore time) on 2 October 2021 (i.e. Day 1), he/she is required to undergo COVID-19 PCR tests on 4 October 2021 (i.e. Day 3) and 8 October 2021 (i.e. Day 7)”

Travellers must book their appointment at a designated clinic, using a unique link that will be emailed upon arrival in Singapore. Missing this test is grounds to be served with an SHN in a dedicated facility, so don’t play around. 

Each test will cost S$94.16 nett per person. I have to say, that’s lower than I expected, given how PCR tests at clinics in Singapore run the gamut from S$135 to S$200 last I checked. 

Other points to note

All travellers must be fully vaccinated, defined as 14 days after completing the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or any vaccine on the WHO EUL list. The vaccination must have been administered in Singapore or Germany, which means that those who got their jabs elsewhere will not be eligible at the moment (even if they subsequently got their vaccination recognised in Singapore)

If you have children aged under 12, you can still travel to Germany, but will have to return to Singapore under Category II restrictions, i.e. 7 days SHN at home. 

VTL Designated Flights

SIA Dedicated VTL Page

The following flights from Germany to Singapore have been designed as VTL-eligible. 

FlightsDays
SQ325
SMTWTFS
FRA
2200
SIN
1625
(+1)
    
SQ331
SMTWTFS
MUC
1315
SIN
0705
(+1)
     
LH778
SMTWTFS
FRA
2155
SIN
1645
(+1)
     ✔ 

Be very careful when choosing your flights! Singapore Airlines is operating other flights between Germany and Singapore which are not VTL-eligible. If you book one of these, you’ll be subject to the prevailing SHN requirement (currently 7 days).

❌ Non-VTL flights
Frankfurt to Singapore: SQ 25 (departs daily)
Munich to Singapore: SQ327 (departs Tue, Fri, Sun until 30 Oct 2021, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun from 31 Oct 2021)

If the VTL is suspended, Singapore Airlines will offer a refund of your ticket and a waiver of cancellation fees.

For those looking to redeem awards, here’s how much they cost from Singapore to Germany. 

One Way Redemption Cost from Singapore to Germany
 SaverAdvantage
Economy38,00070,000
Premium Economy64,500N/A
Business92,000120,000
First125,000220,000

Award space is available, but only at Advantage rates (the Friday 92,000 miles Saver option you see below in the award calendar is for SQ327, which is a non-VTL flight) for now. However, I’ve just learned that if you’re a Solitaire PPS or PPS Club member, you should be able to find Saver awards on the VTL.

First Class awards have recently been added to the Frankfurt route, albeit at Advantage prices.

Cash fares are going at an entirely reasonable S$970 or so, with the prices not quite having spiked the way they did with the Hong Kong ATB. 

Travel Insurance

Short-term visitors from Germany to Singapore will need to purchase travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs. 

While it’s not a requirement, Singapore residents will certainly want to purchase similar coverage for their trip to Germany. The following travel insurance policies currently provide coverage for overseas COVID-19 medical treatment, evacuation and related trip interruptions:

Here’s an illustrative example of the type of coverage you can expect. 

AXA SmartTraveller
Policy Wording
 EssentialComprehensive
Medical ExpensesS$75,000S$150,000
Hospitalization Allowance
Per Day | Capped
S$100 | S$1,000S$100 | S$2,000
Quarantine Allowance
Per Day | Capped
S$50 | S$350S$50 | S$700
Emergency Medical Evac.At costAt cost
Trip CancellationS$1,000S$2,000
Trip PostponementS$500S$1,000
Trip CurtailmentS$2,000S$4,000

I’ve written a detailed article on travel insurance policies with COVID-19 coverage, so refer to that for more information. 

One important note: even though Germany does not require Singapore residents to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test, certain policies like NTUC Income and Sompo and explicitly require it nonetheless. This is in order to prove that you didn’t already have COVID-19 when you departed Singapore (which your policy won’t cover). 

FAQs

Here’s a list of FAQs regarding the VTL. You may also wish to refer to the following official resources:

Must my trip be at least 14 days?

No. Your trip to Germany can be any duration- all that matters is that the past 14 days were spent in some combination of Singapore and Germany. 

Do I need to take a pre-departure PCR test before flying to Germany?

Germany does not require Singapore residents to take a PCR test before departing Singapore for Germany. However, your travel insurance provider may require it nonetheless (see travel insurance section above).

Can I travel outside of Germany?

Yes and no.

The VTL requires that you must have remained in Germany (or Singapore) for 14 consecutive days prior to entering Singapore. 

In theory, you could fly to Germany and do a road trip to a neighbouring country, provided you return to Germany and stay for 14 days before returning to Singapore. If your trip is shorter than 14 days, that’s out of the question. 

And please, let’s not have any talk about “how would they know”. You’ll be required to fill out an arrival card on return to Singapore declaring all the countries you’ve been in the past 14 days. God help you if you lie on that document. 

Can the VTL be suspended?

Thankfully they’ve not gone and called this a bubble, but given the last-minute suspensions we saw with the now defunct Singapore – Hong Kong ATB, the question arises as to whether the VTL can likewise “pop”.

The short answer is yes. If the COVID-19 situation gets out of hand in Germany, Singapore may decide to terminate the VTL arrangement. Likewise, if Singapore gets added to the Robert Koch Institute list of high-risk areas, Germany will cease to offer quarantine-free travel to Singapore residents. 

Can my unvaccinated child travel on the VTL if I am vaccinated?

No. All travellers under the VTL must be fully vaccinated. 

What if I test positive for COVID-19 in Germany?

If your pre-departure PCR test is positive, the health department will be informed by the laboratory and will order you to self-isolate for up to 14 days. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, isolation will take place at the hospital or in a hotel. 

For a detailed explanation of the process, refer to the post below.

Explained: Germany COVID-19 restrictions, testing and proof of vaccination

Can I take a flight back to Singapore with a transit in another country?

No, you must take one of the VTL designated flights if you want to enjoy the SHN waiver. 

Do I need to self-isolate after the Day 3 and Day 7 tests?

No. Self-isolation is only required pending the results of the on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test at the airport.

Conclusion

The VTL with Germany is the first realistic opportunity we’ve had for SHN-free travel since the pandemic began (since New Zealand and other SHN-free countries are not open to Singapore residents). Here’s to more VTLs opening up in the near future. 

I’ve already booked myself on the inaugural flight back from Munich, and will pen some thoughts on that in the day ahead. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Juno

if I land in Singapore from Germany under the VTL on Sep 10, will I be able to fly out to HK on Sep 15; seeing that they need 2 test on Day 3 and Day 7

Juno

Found it. Thanks a lot Aaron!

BobCat

Here we go again. While i understand the MTF is trying to open up travel, the rules an d regulations are so tight and a dead rubber every time something is announced, one can only imagine this will take years for Singapore to truly open. It seems that we keep going backwards, not with standing vaccinations (and yes I understand the relevant risks with delta). Complex and complicated- or as it is locally know as calibrated and cautions.

Edmond

So i guess if i am travelling with my child that is under 12, we will need to go into a 7 day SHN at home once we reach back… sigh…

Mike

So the ultimate question is: are you planning to go to Germany soon?

Adam

Your answer is in the last line of the post.

Mike

oh that’s true, i seem to missed it. thanks!

D K

Hm… get swabbed 5x for a single trip – gonna be a hell of a holiday – luckily it ain’t rectal swabs.

anon

dont need so many actually

if u choose an insurer that doesnt need pre flight swab, no need

You only need to swab

1) Return to SG
2) 3rd Day
3) 7th Day

Adam

You missed out pre-departure in Germany.

anon

I thought VTL didnt need pre departure swabs?

Adam

Not needed ex-SIN, but needed in Germany on return to SIN. Then another swab at Changi.

Neon

So Singapore residents who had their first vaccination dose done in Singapore and the second overseas (both Pfizer) will not be able to benefit from this VTL arrangement?

Adam

Is the Milelioness travelling with you?

Justin

So glad to be wrong about award seats not being available. Just booked SIN-FRA in Y and MUC-SIN in J with miles.

Charles

Just curious if we can opt for the SHN 7 days instead? I mean I don’t want to get swab 4 times but I have no issue staying 7 days at home.

Justin

If you opt for the 7-day SHN, you don’t even have to wait for the VTL to start, or take VTL flights. You will still need to take 2 PCR tests though.

https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/scpr-familial-ties-lane/shn-and-swab-summary#table2

Last edited 11 months ago by Justin
cheesecake

And the important consideration in non VTL flight is you get charged Saver instead of Advantage KF miles.

Charles

Thanks, make sense. My thought is I will be resting after a long trip anyway and trying to avoid the swab as much as possible

anon

yes.. 7 days in own home.. sounds reasonable

Ortloc

Importantly to me and something you didn’t mention, is that days 3 and 7 PCR tests must be done by 1500hrs. Miss it and it’s 7 days SHN for you and the possibility of being charged.

There are a lot of hidden cost involved-from the numerous tests, to taking private transport back home to the leave needed for the last 2 PCR tests.

Cederic

Yes… if the cost of taking a taxi back from the airport to your home is a concern to you, a holiday to Germany should be the least of your worries?

Sam

Now that it seems it’s only Germany, is it worth it just to do a 2 weeks trip? There’s the cost of PCR tests (~160×5=800), travel insurance (~200) and hotel for first night back (~150) for total of $1150 extra on top of flight tickets. does it even make sense?

ZYX

Depends on how much you like bratwurst and Paulaner.

anon

If you can redeem tickets, i guess its worth..

Michael

Did you read the article above or did you go straight to the comments? Where’s the $800 coming from?

jon

any idea if award space will open up?

Justin

I wonder how strictly they will enforce the “individual room with an attached toilet” rule. If my spouse is not traveling with me, does it mean we have to sleep separately for 7 days?

Will SDAs demand to enter my home to watch us sleep separately? The horror.

Mike

I think the question is whether you want to run the risk of spreading Covid to your spouse given how infective the latest strains are. If so, might end up getting banned entirely from bedroom for months instead.

Stefan

Would it be allowed to take a German domestic flight en route to a VTL connection to Singapore, e.g. Berlin to Frankfurt on LH, connecting to SQ/VTL to Singapore?

Sam

Yes that’s fine. Just can’t have left Germany and need to be on a VTL flight from Munich or Frankfurt back to SG

Klaus Schwab

Muahhahahahaa welcome to my lair!

Polo

Enjoy the inaugural flight (and the holidays!)

yar

we can fly from Singapore to Germany ahead of 8th of Sep right? like 4th Sep

Michael

Nobody is stopping you from flying today. All good with that.

YSY

yes, you can even fly at noon or tonight and still able to redeem J class with miles..

Mike

VTL only starts 8 Sep. But you can travel via 7 day SHN option without waiting for VTL to start (see Justin’s comments above).

bent

PCR tests avaialble at MUC airport: https://www.munich-airport.com/corona-tests-at-the-airport-9526455

Some are even available for free, but seems to be for incoming travellers rather than outgoing ones

YSY

looking forward to the trip report, though will cover MUC-SIN inaugural flight, don’t miss out SIN-FRA/MUC sector as well as hotels stays..

Michael

Looking forward to hear some first hand trip reports in regards to the acceptance of our vaccination proof. In Germany restaurants, hotels, gyms, football stadiums and many other places only allow vaccinated (or recently tested) people to enter.

Now I doubt TraceTogether will impress them much…

Last edited 11 months ago by Michael
Jimmy

Aaron, please take care while travelling

Anyway, I am looking forward to your sharing on your first hand experience on the departure and arrival process in both Singapore side and Germany side to see what we should expect in the foreseeable future about check-in, boarding, lounge experience (if any), in-flight experience, immigration check, luggage collections, getting from airport to place of accommodation part..

Thanks for your sharing.

Salmon Lee

Aaron, I was just wondering, if it’s 21 days in Germany, is that 21 days before you board that flight from Germany to Singapore, or 21 days when you finally land in Singapore and go through passport check at Changi?

Frederic

Hi Aaron, some say that Singapore cannot be included in the 21-day period. Seems a bit silly to me, but do you have any insight on that?

Robs

SG is included.

Desperatetofly

I’m actually having a problem locating designated VTL flights across both SQ and Luf’s site for outbound flights in Nov. Any idea if its because flight schedules aren’t available yet?

Desperatetofly

Tried searching the conventional way – entered dates. Dest:FRA. were there special links to search under?

Desperatetofly

Hang on, think i got confused.. are VTL flights only mandatory for return leg and not for the initial outbound flights from singapore?

Justin

Just curious, are the flights still capacity controlled for social distancing?

Last edited 11 months ago by Justin
Polo

My wife and I are looking are going back to France for Christmas. Would you book flights now? Or wait a couple of month to see if a VTL open and then book?

Polo

Thanks Aaron

SQ Flyer

US$75 per award ticket, to be exact.

mary

Hi, if I’m flying from singapore, do I have to be in germany for 21 days to qualify for the VTL flight, or can I just be there for about a week and fly back to singapore after that?

Last edited 11 months ago by mary
mary

oh i just saw, sorry and thank you for the info!

Calista

Hi Aaron, may I know which website did you apply for the opt-SHN at a place of our residence? TIA

Agnes

Sorry, which clinic offer S$94.16 nett per person post arrival PCR Test?

Chris

Hi Aaron
Thanks for your time in writing the informative articles.
From your experience, at what stage does the vaccination status of the traveler gets check? It appears that the airline will be checking this? That is at the check-indesks of the airlines? Is this correct?
I definitely hope that it is not during immigration itself? during the checking of the passports at border control?
I live in Australia and we are getting very excited hearing about the possibility that there is soon to be a VTL between Sg and Down Under!
Appreciate your feedback.
many thanks
Chris

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