Well it looks like I have egg on my face now. Delicious, nourishing egg. On the same day I wrote about how Singapore’s rumoured pilot programmes for business and leisure travellers were a step in the wrong direction, they’ve gone and announced something very different.
From 8 September 2021, fully vaccinated Singapore residents will be able to travel to and from Germany and Brunei with no quarantine requirement on either side, under a newly-formed Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) agreement.
Overview: Vaccinated Travel Lane
To avoid an SHN on return to Singapore, VTL travellers must:
- Apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) between 7 and 30 days before their intended arrival in Singapore (not required for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents)
- Take a pre-departure PCR test within 48 hours of their scheduled flight departure from Germany/Brunei
- Travel on a designated VTL flight from Germany/Brunei
- Take an on-arrival PCR test at Changi Airport
- Take post-arrival PCR tests on day 3 and day 7 after arrival, at a designated clinic
A few things to note.
First, the VTP requirement is only for short-term visitors and long-term pass holders, and applications will open from 1 September 2021.
Second, children aged below 12 are currently not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and therefore cannot travel on the VTL.
Third, on arrival back in Singapore, you’ll need to complete a PCR test and head directly to your self-isolation accommodation in a private vehicle, private-hire car, or taxi (no public transport). You’ll need to isolate until your PCR test result comes back- if it’s negative, you can move around as per normal.
Fourth, VTL travellers must have remained in Singapore, Germany or Brunei for the last 21 consecutive days prior to departure for Singapore. In other words, taking a road trip from Germany to neighbouring countries will disqualify you from SHN-free travel, even if you ultimately fly back from Germany (unless, of course, you do a road trip outside Germany, return to Germany and spend 21 days, then fly home).
Fifth, it goes without saying that all VTL travellers must be fully vaccinated, defined as 14 days after completing the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or other WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.
The CAAS further stipulates that the vaccination must have been done in Singapore, Germany or Brunei. This means that individuals who were vaccinated overseas will not yet be eligible for the VTL, even if they got their vaccination recognised here.
VTL travellers must take one of the designated flights below in order to avoid an SHN on arrival.
|VTL from Germany to Singapore|
You can travel on any flight from Singapore to Germany, since Germany permits entry for Singapore residents without any specific flight restrictions.
|VTL from Brunei to Singapore|
PCR Testing Requirement
Travelling on the VTL won’t be cheap. While Germany does not have a pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement for Singapore residents, they’ll still have to do four tests in total– one before departing Germany, and three when back in Singapore.
I haven’t researched PCR pricing in Germany, but I do know that the Changi Airport test costs S$160, and the Day 3/7 tests will cost S$94.16 each. The Day 3 and 7 PCR tests must be made at a designated clinic (list yet to be released), using a unique booking link which will be emailed to you. Tests must be done by 1500 on each relevant day.
Those who fail to complete the PCR tests on return to Singapore may be served with an SHN to quarantine in a dedicated facility, so don’t mess around with this.
At long last, SHN-free travel is a (practical) reality. While Brunei may not be everyone’s cup of tea (and in any case, isn’t taking short-term visitors), Germany is a great prize indeed.
There’s a lot to dig into here, so look out for further articles on The Milelion in the next couple of days.