Goodbye VTLs, hello VTF: Singapore reopens borders to all fully vaccinated travellers

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Singapore will replace the VTLs with a Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) from 1 April, welcoming all fully vaccinated travellers regardless of origin.

In a highly-anticipated announcement, Singapore will scrap the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) from 1 April 2022 and allow quarantine-free entry for all fully vaccinated individuals, regardless of origin.

The revised programme will be called the Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF).

✔️At a glance: Vaccinated Travel Framework
(Starts: 1 April 2022)
  • Fully vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore without quarantine, from any country (unless their 7-day travel history includes countries on the Restricted list, of which there are currently none)
  • Unvaccinated travellers mostly barred from entering, with limited exceptions
  • Take any flight to Singapore, no more VTL concept
  • Booster dose is not required
  • Children aged 12 and below will be considered fully vaccinated, regardless of actual status
  • Fully vaccinated short-term visitors no longer need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass
  • Pre-departure test (ART/PCR 2 days prior) remains for travel to Singapore, but may be scrapped in the near future
  • No more on-arrival testing in Singapore
ICA: VTF Checklist

Under the VTF, fully vaccinated individuals (a booster dose is not required) can travel to Singapore more or less the way they did before COVID-19, with no more designated VTL flights, Vaccinated Travel Passes (VTP), or travel history considerations (except for restricted countries- a list that’s currently empty).

Pre-departure testing will be maintained for now (although removed for land travel), but on-arrival testing will be scrapped. 

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. 

Singapore replaces VTLs with VTF from 1 April

✔️ Vaccinated Travel Framework
(From 1 April 2022)
Fully Vax.
& Unvax. Children ≤12
Unvax.
  • Most unvaccinated travellers will be barred from entry from 1 April 2022, with limited exceptions
  • Present negative pre-departure ART/PCR test taken within 2 days of flight to Singapore*
  • Apply for entry approval (short-term visitor or LTP holder aged 18 and above)
  • Complete SG Arrival Card
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. S$30,000 coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses (short-term visitors only)
  • 7-day SHN at home or hotel
  • Take PCR test at the end of 7-day SHN*
*Children aged 2 or under in the current calendar year are exempt

Under the current VTLs, a traveller’s eligibility for quarantine-free entry is based on his/her:

  • Vaccination status
  • Travel history
  • Origination point
  • Flight taken

When the VTF replaces the VTL on 1 April 2022, all that matters is vaccination status. 

Fully vaccinated travellers

Under the VTF, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enter Singapore without quarantine, regardless of travel history, nationality, point of origin or inbound flight itinerary. To be clear, there is no need to take a designated VTL flight anymore.

⚠️ Exception: Restricted Countries
Travellers whose 7-day travel history includes a Restricted Country (where there are Variants of Concern) will be subject to quarantine. There are currently no countries in this category.

Here’s how the VTF compares to the VTL for a fully-vaccinated traveller. 

Entry for Fully Vaccinated Travellers
 VTL 
(Until 31 Mar)
VTF
(From 1 Apr)
Pre-Departure TestProfessional ART/PCR within 2 days of departure
VTPRequired for ST visitorsNot required
FlightsVTL onlyAny flight
Origin CountryVTL onlyAny country
7-Day Travel HistoryVTL, Cat. I or EEA countries onlyNo restricted countries
On-Arrival TestSelf-ART within 24hNone

Vaccinated Travel Passes (VTP), already scrapped for long-term passholders, will no longer required for fully vaccinated short-term visitors. Travellers will need to present them until 31 March 2359 hours, after which they will not be needed. 

Fully vaccinated travellers will still be required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 2 days of departure to Singapore, which can either be:

  • A professionally-administered PCR test
  • A professionally-administered antigen rapid test (ART)
  • A self-administered ART remotely supervised by an approved ART provider in Singapore (when departing from certain countries, for SCs, PRs and LTPHs)
⚠️ 2 days, not 48 hours!
Do note that the testing window is 2 days, not 48 hours. For example, if your flight departs at 10 p.m on Wednesday, you can take your test anytime from 12.01 a.m on Monday onwards.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has said that the pre-departure test requirement will be reviewed over the next 2-4 weeks, and may also be scrapped.

Fortunately, the recent move to allow overseas tele-supervised ARTs means the pre-departure test isn’t much of an inconvenience anymore, provided you’re eligible to take one. 

Overseas tele-supervised ARTs are only an option for Singapore residents, permanent residents, and work pass holders (including long term pass holders) departing from the following countries:

🌎 Eligible Countries for Tele-ART
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City
  • Yemen

Good news: Overseas tele-supervised ARTs now valid for travel to Singapore

Travellers who have recently recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days are exempt from the pre-departure test requirement, subject to presenting documentary proof. 

All travellers must still complete an SG Arrival Card within three days of arrival in Singapore, but it will be simplified even further with just three sections:

  • Personal particulars
  • Vaccination status (not required for those vaccinated in Singapore)
  • Health declaration

The benefits of the VTF system should be obvious, but I’ll list them out anyway:

  • No more designated VTL flights means more flexibility when choosing routings to Singapore
  • No more restrictions on eligible countries mean your travel history essentially becomes irrelevant. Fly anywhere, come home from anywhere
  • No more testing on arrival means you can go wherever you want upon landing- home, Jewel, even making a landside connection to a different flight

For the sake of overseas readers, Singapore considers travellers to be fully vaccinated if they meet the following criteria:

VaccineDoses RequiredMin. Interval between Doses
Pfizer/ BioNTech217 days
Moderna224 days
Astrazeneca224 days
Covishield224 days
Janssen1N/A
Sinopharm217 days
Sinovac213 days
Covaxin224 days
Novavax217 days
Any WHO EUL vaccine (mixed)217 days

Children aged 12 and under in the current calendar year are treated as fully vaccinated regardless of their actual status, provided they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent.

A booster dose is currently not required to be considered fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated travellers 

Unvaccinated travellers will generally not be allowed to enter Singapore, although exceptions will be made for long-term passholders who are medically ineligible for vaccines, as well as those who have valid entry approval for grounds like compassionate reasons. 

Unvaccinated travellers will continue to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 2 days of departure to Singapore, which can either be:

  • A professionally-administered PCR test
  • A professionally-administered antigen rapid test (ART)
  • A self-administered ART remotely supervised by an approved ART provider in Singapore

On arrival, they will need to serve a 7-day SHN, which can be done either at their place of residence or in a hotel. Private transport (e.g. taxi, private hire car or private car) must be taken from the airport directly to the SHN venue.

A further PCR test will be done at the end of the 7-day SHN before they are released into the community. 

Conclusion

Singapore will replace the VTLs with the VTF from 1 April 2022, granting quarantine-free entry to all fully vaccinated individuals and restoring travel to almost pre-COVID conditions

The pre-departure test requirement remains for now, but may be scrapped in the next 2-4 weeks, pending a review. I believe that’s the bigger issue for most Singapore residents, because a positive pre-departure test can get you stranded overseas. 

Today’s announcement is the biggest development in the reopening of borders to date, and can’t happen soon enough- I’ve already shared my reasons on why the VTLs had outlived their welcome.

In a way, it bookends a period that many would rather forget, and in less than a week, vaccinated Singaporeans will once again be able to travel freely to and from any of the 170 countries and territories that accept them without quarantine.

I’d love to hear your reflections on the past two years, and where you’re hoping to head to now!

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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Gladys

Why isn’t Vietnam in the list of Overseas Supervised Tele-Art?

Daniel

It’s great to see the rules being relaxed.

Thanks Aaron for all your articles on Singapore VTLs, where to get the cheapest PCR/ART, etc.

I just got back from a 2 week holiday from Singapore and it was quite a smooth experience even with all the extra paperwork and research needed these days, had an awesome time in the country and can’t wait to go back!

Jhoney

Mr. Aaron, Can advise where to get better price for administered PCR test. I will be travelling to Malaysia on April 1. I am holding long term pass holder.

Simon

A step in the right direction, but far too late, and reactionary rather than pro-active. The damage to Singapore’s reputation from this in many eyes is irreversible.

Plus I personally won’t hold my breath for the Gov to crap their pants and do a 180 at the first sign of a spike in cases or a new variant or whatever. Enjoy it for now but don’t make any long term travel plans involving SG…..

Wee Lin

Since Hong Kong is the only real alternative as business or financial hub in the region, I’d say SG is doing pretty well.

SQ Flyer

Irreversible damage to Singapore’s reputation from what exactly, and relative to which other global cities exactly? Hong Kong? Shanghai? Tokyo? Sydney? Bangkok? Three of those cities remain closed, while Sydney and Bangkok opened up around the same time as Singapore did, if not later. While I share the sentiment expressed in your first sentence, perspective is important.

Ponnifer

Eh in Asia/Australia, the Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong still locked down.

Bangkok, Sydney open up around the same time

Wee Lin

No more excuses flying in my Mother in Law from Japan.

Thanks Obama.

Last edited 4 months ago by Wee Lin
Abc

I tried to read this article first at atas accountant.

Patrick

Hahahhaha

Jio

He is in the midst of “writing” it now. Don’t so Kan Cheong

Patrick

Ahhahaha good one. Copy and paste also take time

The Lion Miler

Copy and Paste is fast. But try and change a few words here and there – that takes time!
Please be patient.
Hahahaha

Patrick

Mr Milelion. What are my option for tele supervised self administered ART test for my flight back from Malaysia on 10th April. Thank you 🙂

Patrick

Thank you sir.

James

Is there a similar option to CLEA for vtl air from spore to malaysia? Or is the costly pcr test the only option. Thanks.

James

This only applies for vtl land, not air to malaysia. I guess there isn’t other options available

J.L

This is more a Malaysia issue, till they drop the requirement for a pre-departure PCR test or change it to a pre-departure ART test

Ortloc

This is what caught my eye, but I haven’t been able to find any other source to corroborate:

“He also said that travellers entering Malaysia from Singapore by air are required to take a COVID-19 antigen rapid test (ART) two days before departure, instead of the more costly reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test as previously stipulated for travellers entering via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme.

Mr Khairy stated that the agreement between both countries was the fruits of negotiations involving various ministries from both sides.”

From https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/malaysia-singapore-border-reopen-no-quota-travel-modes-checkpoints-2583616

Last edited 4 months ago by Ortloc
Lee

I think there are still inconsistency like this that confuses people, CLEA is not in the approved remote ART provider list posted by MOH but its accepted, but who knows if immigration suddenly decides to reject CLEA

Renn

Why aren’t South Korea and Japan on the list for overseas supervised tele-art?!? Makes no sense esp given that we previously had VTL w Korea

Abc

Initially I thought, because they need to accept the ARTs that are approved locally, that that may be a factor. But then that reason doesn’t make sense on 2 counts: there are quite a few advanced countries who you wouldn’t question who are missing (and some countries on the list who you would question), and if there is a doubt then you should be able to use a HSA approved one that you brought from SG. So I’ve gone back thinking this is a pilot grouping that explains a somewhat random group of countries. I am also wondering why does… Read more »

Stefan

Thanks for the summary, Aaron! I’m already on a 6 month sabbatical trip around the world. Excited to see these developments, it means in August I will return to the Singapore I used to love.

Darren

A summary list of where in Asia we can travel along with the tests required and summary quarantine requirements would be most appreciated by your readers. Would be helpful to see if a ‘weekend away’ is truly viable yet. Great article as always, thanks Aaron.

SSS

@Arron any update on land crossing into Malaysia? ICA website says:
“Notice: Singapore and Malaysia are working towards the full resumption of land travel with Malaysia for fully vaccinated persons. Details on the revised border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Singapore via the land borders will be announced jointly with Malaysia soon.”
https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/vtl-land/outbound-travel

Any further insights?

Cruise to no where

I wonder how this affects cruise to nowhere. Does that mean no testing because everyone is from Singapore or does that mean pre-departure from Singapore because cruise is leaving Singapore waters and then coming back?

Jake

for recovered travellers who still test positive on the PDT, are there any concessions made for them to come to Singapore? eg Thailand requires a doctor’s note to certify original date of +ve test (the one before the PDT), which must be from 14-90 days ago. they seem to allow travellers with a positive PDT to enter Thailand.

Amanda

So, if I’m travelling from the UK on the 1st April I only need a negative ART? Is that correct? Even on a dependent pass?

Nick

It’s quite annoying to create more and more short forms.just use simple name and stop trying to be style milo.

Lennard

It appears SG has scrapped the insurance requirement for short term visitors? It’s no longer on the VTF checklist and see below excerpt from https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/health/insurance-and-treatment:

Short-term visitors who are not fully vaccinated and are required to have travel insurance for their COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore should ensure that their insurance has a minimum coverage of S$30,000 (based on COVID-19 bill sizes at private hospitals). [Note: From 1 April 2022, short-term visitors who are fully vaccinated are not required to have travel insurance for their COVID-19 related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore for entry into Singapore.]

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