Good news: Netherlands scraps pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from Singapore

From 16 December, Netherlands no longer requires travellers from Singapore to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

Last month, in response to Singapore’s removal from the EU’s list of epidemiologically-safe third countries, Netherlands designated Singapore a very high risk area and required a pre-departure COVID-19 test for vaccinated travellers. 

Now there’s some good news: from 16 December 2021, Singapore will be upgraded to a high risk area (I know that sounds counterintuitive, but high risk is better than very high risk!). 

This means that the pre-departure testing requirement will be scrapped, saving travellers from Singapore some money. 

Netherlands upgrades Singapore

From 16 December 2021, Singapore will be removed from the list of “very high risk” countries and added to the list of “high risk” countries.

Travellers from high risk areas need not show a negative test result if they have proof of vaccination. Unlike some other European countries, Netherlands accepts any vaccine which is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or is on the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This includes Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Those who are unvaccinated must continue to present a negative COVID-19 test, unless they are aged 11 and below.

  • A negative PCR result conducted no more than 48 hours before departure
  • A negative ART result conducted no more than 24 hours before departure

This means that unvaccinated children aged 11 and below accompanying their vaccinated parents on a trip will not need to take any tests. 

All travellers aged 12 or older must complete a health declaration. No quarantine is required on arrival. 

Fully vaccinated travellers are “advised” to take a COVID-19 self-test before meeting other people or going to work/school, but this is not mandatory. In any case, COVID-19 testing is free in the Netherlands, even for visitors. However, you’ll need to pay for a pre-departure test since this comes with additional certification.  

Singapore vaccination certificates recognised in Netherlands

Singapore vaccination certificates are now granted equivalence to the EUDCC

As of 7 December 2021, Singapore vaccination certificates have been granted equivalency with the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC). This means that Singaporeans will be able to enjoy the same benefits as any individual vaccinated within the EU. 

Netherlands has a vaccine passport app called CoronaCheck, but it’s only possible to add a vaccination certificate if you have a DigiD (their equivalent of SingPass). 

In any case, you should be able to show the QR code on your Notarise vaccination certificate and be accepted (I say should, because there have been some teething issues reported in other EU countries). You can also scan the QR code using the Swiss COVID Certificate app (Android | iOS) and display it that way. 

VTL Flights to Singapore

Singapore Airlines currently operates the following VTL flights from Amsterdam to Singapore. 

Amsterdam – Singapore
2 November 2021 – 16 January 2022
SQ329 Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat 10:25am – 5:55am (+1) A350-900
17 January 2022 – 27 March 2022
SQ329 Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat 10:25am – 5:55am (+1) A350-900
SQ323 Mon, Wed, Sun 10:25am – 5:55am (+1) A350-900

KLM also has the following VTL services. 

Flight Period Day Timing Aircraft
KL833 01 Nov 21 – 26 Mar 22 Mon, Sat 21:05-15:30 (+1) B777-W
B787-9

Testing requirement on return to Singapore

Supervised swabbing

 Singapore has tightened its testing regime for VTL arrivals from 7 December 2021 onwards. 

Travellers aged 2 and above now need to undergo daily testing for the first seven days upon arriving in Singapore, as illustrated below:

🇸🇬 Testing Regime for travel to Singapore
Day Test
Within 2 days before departure Professional ART/PCR 
Day 1 (arrival) Air VTL: PCR
Land VTL: ART
Day 2 Self-administered ART
Day 3 Supervised ART
Day 4 Self-administered ART
Day 5 Self-administered ART
Day 6 Self-administered ART
Day 7 Supervised ART
Professional ART= Someone swabs you
Self-administered ART= You swab yourself, unsupervised
Supervised ART= You swab yourself, supervised

ART swabs are all self-administered, with the Day 3 & 7 tests conducted under supervision at a Combined Test Centre (CTC) or Quick Test Centre (QTC) by 2130 hours on the relevant days.

QTC/CTC Locations
Book Appointment
Children aged 3 to 12 must be accompanied by a caregiver aged 21 years old and above for supervised ART swabbing. The caregiver may be required to help administer the test if the child is unable to do so.

On Days 2, 4, 5 and 6, tests will be unsupervised and 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 tests via the portal below.

Report ART result (Land)
Report ART result (Air)

This means that round-trip travellers from Singapore to the Netherlands can expect to do a total of eight COVID-19 tests. 

⚕️ VTL Testing Regime
Location Remarks Price
🇳🇱 Netherlands 2 days before departure (ART/PCR) Varies
🇸🇬 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

Conclusion

The Netherlands has lifted its pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from Singapore, which will save you some time and money on your way over. 

Once Singapore stands down its enhanced testing regime for Omicron (supposed to be till 3 January 2022, but subject to further extensions), travellers will only need to do two tests in total, making this one of the more hassle-free destinations. 

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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