Singapore restored quarantine-free travel from Vietnam with the launch of the Singapore-Vietnam Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) on 16 March 2022, and just in time, the Vietnamese government has confirmed that all incoming tourists will not be required to serve any quarantine on arrival.
This means that two-way quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Vietnam is now possible, and even better, the cheaper antigen tests (ARTs) are accepted for pre-departure testing on both ends!
Vietnam reopens to international arrivals
|✈️ Summary: Travel to Vietnam
|*Not stated as a mandatory requirement in IATA Timatic, but mentioned on Vietnam government website
What’s particularly interesting about Vietnam’s reopening (and confirmed by its main English language newspaper) is that it’s chosen not to make full vaccination a requirement for quarantine-free entry.
Instead, all travellers simply need to present a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test, which can either be:
- A PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure to Vietnam
- A professionally-administered ART taken within 24 hours of departure to Vietnam
Children under two years of age are exempt from pre-departure testing. If travellers are unable to take a COVID-19 test before departure, they must take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival in Vietnam.
All travellers must also complete a health declaration form and download the PC-COVID contact tracing app before arrival. No on-arrival test is required, but travellers are required to monitor their health for 10 days after arrival and report any COVID-19 symptoms to the relevant authorities.
Regarding travel insurance, this news release on a Vietnam government website mentions that foreigners must carry travel insurance that covers at least US$10,000 in COVID-19 treatment costs. However, I don’t see this reflected on TIMATIC, which is supposed to be the final word on such matters. In any case, it’d be a bit silly to travel without COVID-19 insurance these days, so you might want to see it as a de facto requirement anyway.
Singapore citizens can enter Vietnam without a visa for up to 30 days, as confirmed by the Singapore Embassy in Hanoi.
Vietnam has also resumed its visa exemption policy for citizens from the following 13 countries:
- South Korea
Singapore-Vietnam travel: Total testing costs
|⚕️ Testing: Singapore-Vietnam Travel
|24h before departure (ART/PCR)
|2 days before departure (ART/PCR)
|Within 24h of arrival (self-ART)
|*Children aged 2 and under exempt
Travellers from Singapore to Vietnam can expect to do three COVID-19 tests in total, all of which can be ARTs. A list of test providers in Vietnam can be found here.
Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore are currently the only countries in South East Asia accepting pre-departure ARTs (well, Malaysia does for the VTL-Land if you want to get technical), making this one of the cheapest travel destinations in terms of testing costs.
For the cheapest pre-departure testing options in Singapore, refer to this post.
VTL flights to Singapore
Travellers can take any flight they wish from Singapore to Vietnam, with non-stop service offered to Da Nang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
When returning from Vietnam to Singapore, they must take a designated VTL flight or else serve a 7-day SHN on return. The following Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights have been designated as VTL services from Vietnam:
- Da Nang
- SQ171 (from 27 March)
- SQ173 (from 27 March)
- Ho Chi Minh City
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
VTL travellers to Singapore are required to take a pre-departure ART/PCR test within 2 days of departure to Singapore, as well as a designated VTL flight.
On arrival, they must perform a self-administered ART within 24 hours of arrival and report the result via a link provided on landing.
Fully vaccinated individuals can be exempted from all pre-departure tests, on-arrival tests and the need to take a VTL flight to Singapore with acceptable proof of a COVID-19 infection/recovery within the last 90 days.
Let’s keep in mind the VTL is already living on borrowed time, and it’s highly likely we’ll see a simplified system soon that’s based purely on vaccination status. Fingers crossed!
Vietnam has reopened its borders to international travellers, with only a simple pre-departure ART within 24 hours of departure required. This, coupled with the launch of the VTL to Singapore, means two-way quarantine-free travel is possible once more.
I’m still holding on to a voucher for the Banyan Tree Lang Co, purchased at a steep discount back in the heady days of April 2020. It looks like I’ll finally have a chance to use it!