Singapore launches VTLs with Greece & Vietnam; expands VTLs with Malaysia, Indonesia & India

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From 16 March, Greece & Vietnam will be added to the VTL scheme, and VTL flights added from Bali, Penang and other cities.

Singapore will be adding Greece and Vietnam to its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme from 16 March 2022, and expanding existing VTL agreements with Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

This brings the total number of VTL agreements to 32, and at this point, wouldn’t it just be simpler to scrap the VTL concept altogether and open borders to all vaccinated travellers? Crazy idea, I know…

🌎 Singapore VTL Agreements
Current VTLs
  • Australia
  • Brunei*
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Fiji
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong*
  • India
  • Indonesia*
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Netherlands
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
From 16 March 2022
  • Greece
  • Vietnam
*Brunei, Hong Kong and Indonesia do not currently allow Singapore residents to enter without quarantine

With the addition of Greece, two-way quarantine-free travel will be available with all countries in Europe that have direct flights to Singapore. Singapore will also broaden the travel history requirement for the VTL to include the entire European Economic Area (EEA), which I”ve covered in a separate post. 

VTL: 7-day travel history can include all EEA countries plus Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican

Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) applications for travellers from Greece and Vietnam will open at 10 a.m on 13 March 2022. As a reminder, there is no longer any VTP requirement for long-term passholders, with the exception of work permit holders. 

Travel to Greece

Quarantine-free travel to Greece is already possible

Singapore residents can visit Greece without quarantine, provided they present one of the following documents:

  • Vaccination certificate which shows primary regime was completed at least 14 days and no more than 9 months before arrival (no maximum limit for those who have been boosted), or
  • Certificate of recovery from COVID-19 issued at least 14 days and no more than 180 days, or
  • Negative ART or PCR test, taken within 24 hours or 72 hours respectively before arrival.

Children aged below five are exempt from the above requirement. Greece recognises a wide range of vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac and Sinopharm. 

Travellers must fill out a Passenger Locator Form before entering Greece, and may be subject to random COVID-19 tests on arrival. Those who test positive in Greece will be subject to a five day quarantine. 

The following Scoot flights will be designated as VTL services from Greece to Singapore:

  • Athens
    • TR723 (from 15 Mar)

Travel to Vietnam

Vietnam has yet to reopen for tourism, but should by the end of April

Vietnam intends to reopen to tourists from 15 March 2022, with visitors required to:

  • Be fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19
  • Present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival
  • Have medical insurance with at least US$50,000 of COVID-19 coverage

Based on current regulations, it’s likely that children under 12 will be exempt from the vaccination requirement, while those under two will be exempt from pre-departure test.

For a rundown of the cheapest places to get your pre-departure test in Singapore, refer to the article below. 

Cheapest pre-departure COVID-19 ART and PCR tests in Singapore

The following Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights will be designated as VTL services from Vietnam:

  • Da Nang
    • SQ171 (from 27 March)
    • SQ173 (from 27 March)
  • Hanoi
    • SQ191 (from 16 March)
    • SQ193 (from 16 March)
    • TR301 (from 19 March)
  • Ho Chi Minh City 
    • SQ177 (from 16 March)
    • SQ183 (from 16 March)
    • TR303 (from 16 March)

Expansion of existing VTL agreements

Malaysia

The VTL (Air) agreement will be expanded to Penang

Under the scope of the current Singapore-Malaysia VTL (Air) agreement, Kuala Lumpur is the only designated point of entry. Travellers who wish to travel elsewhere in Malaysia must enter through KLIA, complete the on-arrival PCR test and other formalities, and then proceed to their next destination. 

From 16 March 2022, the agreement will expand to include Penang, with four daily flights each way between Singapore and Penang.

The following Singapore Airlines/Scoot flights will be designated as VTL services to/from Penang:

  • SQ137/138 (from 16 March)
  • TR428/429 (17 March to 27 March)
  • TR498/499 (28 March onwards)

As a reminder, Malaysia has scrapped its daily post-arrival ART requirement, with travellers no longer required to perform ARTs on Days 2-6 following arrival. 

Indonesia

VTL flights from Bali will be added

From 16 March 2022, the VTL for Indonesia will be extended beyond Jakarta to include Bali-Denpasar, starting with two daily flights from Bali-Denpasar to Singapore. 

The following Singapore Airlines flights will be designated as VTL services from Bali to Singapore:

  • SQ939 (from 16 March)
  • SQ945 (from 16 March)

Can tourists travel to Bali without quarantine? Yes and no. Bali currently offers what’s euphemistically referred to as a “warm up vacation”, which requires guests to isolate within their hotel premises for at least the first three days (they can use the full hotel facilities). Make of that what you will, but I’m certainly not biting until this is lifted. 

India

The VTL for India will expand beyond Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to include all Indian cities.

The following Singapore Airlines/Scoot flights will be designated as VTL services from India (in addition to existing services from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai):

  • Ahmedabad
    • SQ505 (from 15 Mar)
  • Amritsar
    • TR509 (from 16 Mar)
  • Bengaluru
    • SQ511 (from 15 Mar)
  • Coimbatore
    • TR541 (from 16 Mar)
  • Hyderabad
    • SQ523 (from 15 Mar)
  • Kochi
    • SQ535 (from 15 Mar)
  • Kolkata
    • SQ517 (from 15 Mar)
  • Tiruchirappalli
    • TR565 (from 15 Mar)
  • Trivandrum
    • TR531 (from 15 Mar)
  • Visakhapatnam 
    • TR581 (from 16 Mar)

VTL travel to Singapore

Travellers must take an ART/PCR test within 2 days of flying to Singapore, unless recently-recovered

Singapore recently relaxed its border measures for VTL travellers, shortening the relevant travel history period to 7 days and 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.

LTPHsVTLNon-VTL
  • Long Term Visit Pass
  • Immigration Exemption Order
  • Student’s Pass
  • Employment Pass
  • EntrePass
  • Personalised Employment Pass
  • Tech.Pass
  • Training Employment Pass
  • Work Holiday Pass
  • Dependant’s Pass
  • S Pass holders

✔️

  • Show Long-Term pass/ in-principle approval letter and proof of vaccination status to transport operators/ checkpoint staff
  • No need to apply for or present entry approval/VTP
  • Non-Malaysian male work permit holders in the CMP sector
  • Dormitory-bound work permit holders

Not allowed entry via VTL
✔️
Apply for and present entry approval
  • Confinement Nannies
  • Migrant Domestic Workers
  • All other work permit holders
✔️
Apply for and present VTP

With these changes, here’s a summary of the requirements for VTL travel to Singapore. 

✔️ VTL Eligibility Criteria
All
  • 7-day travel history only includes Singapore and/or VTL countries and/or Category I countries and/or EEA countries (from 16 Mar)
  • Fully vaccinated with any vaccine on the WHO EUL^
  • Complete SG Arrival Card
  • Present negative pre-departure ART/PCR test taken within 2 days of flight to Singapore*
  • Take designated VTL flight to Singapore
  • Take supervised ART within 24 hours of arrival and isolate until negative result received*
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

Fully vaccinated individuals can be exempted from all pre-departure tests, on-arrival tests and SHN requirements when travelling to Singapore with acceptable proof of a COVID-19 infection/recovery within the last 90 days. 

Big news: No more SHN, testing or “14-day stranding” for recently-recovered vaccinated travellers to Singapore

Conclusion

Singapore is adding VTL agreements with Greece and Vietnam from 16 March 2022, bringing the total number of partners to 32. 

Existing VTL agreements with Malaysia, Indonesia and India will also be expanded, which is good news for holiday goers to Penang and Bali (assuming they’re in the mood to be warmed up!).

I believe we’re fast coming to the point where the entire VTL scheme should just be scrapped, in favour of a vaccinated/not vaccinated dichotomy. I’ll share some thoughts on this in the next few days, but until then, start making those Greece and Vietnam plans.

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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Max

Some sources are saying Vietnam will require at least 24 hours of quarantine https://e.vnexpress.net/news/travel/vietnam-travel-firms-fret-over-demotivating-entry-restrictions-4434110.html. It may be short enough for those with family there or for important business travel but doesn’t seem attractive for most leisure travelers.

Obe

Now it does sounds like a business agreement plan for aviation industry to improve the revenue, as they can simply charge exorbitant rates for VTL flights.

bent

There is no such thing as exorbitant rates but only good old “demand and supply”. Would an airline charge a $10,000 fare to Bali but fly the plane empty (I am just exaggerating by the way)?

Max

Comparing rates now with a binding government imposed cap on supply and restrictions on supply from transiting certain countries versus relatively free market 2019 is not an unreasonable way to conclude some things are “exorbitant”. This is also why they fixed rates for the land VTL although limited supply with fixed prices leads to other problems. I don’t think increasing airline profits is the government’s intention with the VTL scheme or that airline profits are higher with less flights + higher prices versus lower prices with no VTL restrictions but more capacity but the VTL scheme is certainly a departure… Read more »

Obe

From one perspective, it can be seen as the good old “supply and demand”; either you take it or you leave it. However, this “supply and demand” is overly utilized and normalized for business opportunities and supersedes fair consumerism. What makes aviation has the “power” to charge up to tenfold of the rates? There are lack of actions from the authorities to keep the rates checked; which in turn leads to a lot of speculations and food for thoughts. I had taken a Malindo flight from SG-KL on a rate of S$600 one-way for VTL flight (I had no choice… Read more »

James Quek

Wonder when there will be good news on VTL with Japan and NZ?

Greg

Yawn!! (@ Singapore not you Aaron!). What exactly does Singapore hope to achieve with these continued VTLs??

At 25K cases a day (in a population of 5 million) Singapore has one of the highest per capita infection rates in the world. Other countries should be worried about SG not the other way round.

Except the rest of the world doesn’t care and is moving on. Omicron is everywhere and cannot be stopped / contained. Like you said just scrap the whole thing and let people travel if they are vaccinated. VTLs in 2022 are a joke.

Gabriel

Woah! Does this mean I can finally redeem my banyan tree lang co voucher?

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