France has announced that from Saturday 4 December 2021, all visitors from countries outside the EU will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter, regardless of vaccination status.
This requirement comes amidst a state of heightened alert over the new Omicron COVID-19 variant; further information can be found on the French embassy’s website.
Pre-departure test now required for France
From midnight on Saturday 4 December 2021, all travellers entering France from countries outside the EU must present a negative antigen or PCR test result, carried out within 48 hours before their scheduled departure to France.
An exception is made for children aged 11 and under, based on their date of birth on arrival in France.
The good news is that a pre-departure ART swab can be done relatively cheaply in Singapore, with rates starting from just S$21 (the French legislative text says that antigen tests must be able to detect the “N protein of SARS-CoV-2”, so you might want to check with the clinic if that’s the case).
As before, travellers will need to provide a sworn statement (Singapore is currently classified as an Amber List country, so use that tab) attesting that they have no symptoms of COVID-19 infection and that they are not aware of any contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to travel.
VTL testing requirement has been tightened
From 3 December 2021
From 3 December 2021, travellers arriving on the VTL scheme now need to undergo supervised, self-administered ART swabs at a Quick Test Centre on Days 3 and 7 of their arrival (the day you enter Singapore counts as Day 1).
|Before 3 Dec 2021||From 3 Dec 2021|
|Pre-departure test||ART/PCR within 2 days||ART/PCR within 2 days|
These must be done by 2130 hours (Singapore time) on the relevant days, and instructions will be emailed to travellers on arrival in Singapore.
There is no need to isolate while awaiting the results of the Day 3 and 7 ART swabs (which will anyways be rather fast, given they’re the ART variety). These tests will cost S$15 each, and must be done at one of the venues below.
Children aged 2 and below in this calendar year are not required to undergo Day 3 and Day 7 ARTs. Children aged 3 to 12 must be accompanied by a caregiver, aged 21 years old and above. The caregiver may be required to help administer the test if the child is unable to do so.
There is no requirement that you stay in Singapore for at least seven days between your trips. You are excused from testing if the scheduled time of departure of your flight is before 2130 hours on the day of test.
From 7 December 2021
From 7 December 2021, travellers arriving on the VTL scheme will be put on a daily testing regime over seven days using ART.
|☝️ What about entry before 7 December?|
|Travellers who have entered Singapore between 3 December 2021 and 6 December 2021 (inclusive) are not required to undergo the self-administered ARTs on Days 2, 4, 5 and 6 of their arrival, but will continue to be required to take the supervised self-administered ARTs at QTCs or CTCs on Days 3 and 7 of their arrival.|
This includes the Day 3 & 7 supervised swabs mentioned above, as well as Day 2, 4, 5 and 6, unsupervised swabs, done at home. These must be done before going out for activities on that day.
Travellers must submit their results from Days 2, 4, 5 and 6 online using a link which will be emailed to them on arrival. Needless to say, the authorities will take a very dim view towards missing a submission- play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Here’s an illustrative testing regime, for a traveller arriving in Singapore on 7 December 2021.
|Within 2 days before departure||On or after 5 Dec 21||Pre-departure ART/PCR|
|1 (arrival)||7 Dec 21||On-arrival PCR (for VTL-Air) or ART (for VTL-Land)|
|2||8 Dec 21||Unsupervised ART|
|3||9 Dec 21||Supervised ART|
|4||10 Dec 21||Unsupervised ART|
|5||11 Dec 21||Unsupervised ART|
|6||12 Dec 21||Unsupervised ART|
|7||13 Dec 21||Supervised ART|
All in all, a round-trip journey from Singapore to France will involve a total of nine COVID-19 tests, of which eight can be the cheaper antigen variety.
|⚕️ VTL Testing Regime|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||48 hours before departure (ART/PCR)||From S$21*|
|🇫🇷 France||2 days before departure (ART/PCR)||~€30^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||On arrival at Changi (PCR)||S$125^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 2 (ART)||S$5^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 3 (Supervised ART)||S$15^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 4 (ART)||S$5^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 5 (ART)||S$5^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 6 (ART)||S$5^|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 7 (Supervised ART)||S$15^|
|^Children aged 2 and under are exempt|
Singapore vaccination certificates to be recognised in France
France enforces a vaccine passport system known as Health Pass (Passe Sanitaire), which is required to access numerous public and private venues. Any EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) or compatible version can be scanned and added to the TousAntiCovid app to serve as a Health Pass.
The European Commission recently announced that Singapore vaccination certificates would be granted equivalency with the EUDCC. This means that travellers who have been vaccinated in Singapore can use their certificates when traveling across the EU (and other participating countries) to gain access to vaccinated-only venues and events.
The implementation will take place from 7 December 2021, after which the QR codes on Singapore vaccination certificates will be readable by EUDCC scanners.
If you are arriving in France prior to 7 December 2021 and urgently need a Health Pass, you can visit a pharmacy to convert your certificate at a cost of €30. Alternatively, you can take a €25 antigen test in a pharmacy to gain a 72-hour temporary Health Pass, which should tide you over until the 7th.
Travellers from Singapore to France will need to add a pre-departure COVID-19 test to their to-do list, although fortunately the cheaper antigen tests will be accepted for travel.
France joins Italy and the Netherlands as the three European VTL countries requiring a pre-departure test, although it’s entirely possible that others may follow suit in the days to come. It’s always a good idea to keep abreast of the latest developments from the respective embassy pages.
For further questions about the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme, do check out the guide I’ve put together.