In December 2021, Italy added Singapore to its dreaded “List E”, which barred the entry of travellers for leisure purposes.
It was a curious decision to say the least, and even the Italian ambassador in Singapore was at a loss for words. He speculated that it might be a clerical error, but that turned out to be wishful thinking, and for a time, all roads led to Rome- unless you’re originating from Singapore.
For what it’s worth, Italy later added Singapore to its “Covid-free tourist corridors” scheme, which allowed Italian tourists to visit Singapore and return without quarantine, but not the other way round (come for the 5-person gatherings, stay for the outdoor masking!).
But thankfully, all this will be behind us from 1 March 2022, when Italy reopens to fully vaccinated travellers regardless of origin.
Italy reopens to Singapore from 1 March 2022
Following an ordinance issued by the Italian Ministry of Health on 22 February 2022, Italy will be eliminating its lists of countries and harmonising the rules of entry from EU/Schengen countries and the rest of the world.
The Italian embassy in Singapore has confirmed that from 1 March 2022, travellers from Singapore will once again be able to enter Italy for any purpose, simply by presenting:
- A completed Passenger Locator Form
- A COVID-19 green pass
The COVID-19 green pass refers to a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate, or negative ART/PCR test taken within 48/72 hours of arrival.
For avoidance of doubt, the Singapore vaccination certificate is acceptable as a green pass. Also note that the requirements are mutually exclusive; a fully vaccinated traveller need not show a negative pre-departure test.
|❓ How are children treated?|
Children aged six or above will need to be fully vaccinated, or recovered, or present a negative pre-departure test.
Children aged five or below are exempt from all vaccination and testing requirements.
The EU has also declared that member states should expand their vaccine recognition beyond the EMA list to also include vaccines on the WHO list. That’s crucial for those vaccinated with Sinovac or Sinopharm, which are currently not EMA-approved. From 1 March 2022, such travellers will enjoy the same benefits as those with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
VTL flights from Italy to Singapore
While you can take any flight you wish to Italy, if your trip is 7 days or less, you’ll want to make sure you either fly non-stop, or only transit in Category I or VTL countries en route. A 7-day travel history that includes non-Category I/non-VTL countries will disqualify you from taking a VTL flight back to Singapore.
When flying to Singapore, travellers must take a VTL flight or else serve a 7-day SHN on arrival. VTL flights from Italy to Singapore are currently operated by Singapore Airlines from Rome and Milan, as per the following schedule.
SIN 0730 (+1)
SIN 0730 (+1)
SIN 0735 (+1)
SIN 0805 (+1)
Schedules will change after 26 March 2022, so refer to the Singapore Airlines website for the latest information.
VTL travel to Singapore
Singapore recently relaxed its border measures for VTL travellers, replacing the on-arrival PCR test requirement at Changi Airport with a supervised ART at a QTC/CTC within 24 hours of arrival. Alternatively, VTL travellers can opt to do a DA Tele-ART from the comfort of their own home.
Also noteworthy is the scrapping of the Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) requirement for the majority of long-term passholders. Only work permit holders and short-term visitors are now required to apply for a VTP.
Not allowed entry via VTL
Apply for and present entry approval
Apply for and present VTP
With these changes, here’s a summary of the requirements for VTL travel to Singapore.
|✔️ VTL Eligibility Criteria|
|Short-term visitors & Work permit holders|
|*Children aged 2 or under in the current calendar year are exempt|
^Exception for children aged 12 and below, if they are accompanied by vaccinated traveller
Singapore-Italy travel: Total testing costs
|⚕️ Testing: Singapore-Italy Travel|
|🇮🇹 Italy||2 days before departure (ART/PCR)||From €20*|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Within 24h of arrival (ART)||S$15*|
|*Children aged 2 and under exempt|
Italy represents one of the cheapest VTL options from a testing point of view, since it does not require a pre-departure test on the outbound leg. When returning to Singapore, travellers will need to take a pre-departure ART or PCR test, plus a supervised ART within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore.
This means the average traveller can go to Italy and back while spending less than S$50 on testing- not bad!
Travellers who have recently recovered from COVID-19 can be exempted from all pre-departure and on-arrival testing requirements when travelling to Singapore, subject to presenting acceptable proof.
Tourists from Singapore will once again be able to visit Italy from 1 March 2022, bringing an end to a two month de facto ban that should never have happened in the first place.
There’s also good news for those vaccinated with Sinovac or Sinopharm, as the EU moves to recognise these vaccinations alongside the EU-approved ones.
The lack of a pre-departure test requirement makes travel to Italy practically as straightforward as pre-COVID days, and one of the cheapest places to visit from a testing perspective.