20 locals approved for Singapore travel scheme

Azlan Othman

About 20 local travellers, comprising 18 short-term visitors and two long-term pass holders, have received approval to enter Singapore under a new scheme for vaccinated travellers, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) .

CAAS also said that as of 11.59pm on September 1, 735 travellers from Germany – comprising 301 short-term visitors and 434 long-term pass holders – also received travel passes via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL).

These travellers applied to travel to Singapore between next Wednesday and October 7.

The first VTL flight from Germany will arrive next Wednesday, while the first such flight from Brunei will arrive next Thursday. The VTL scheme will allow fully vaccinated travellers, including tourists, to fly into Singapore from Germany and Brunei without quarantine.

They will instead take several COVID-19 tests and fly on designated flights, among other precautions. Singapore has also updated its travel advisory to allow for travel to these countries.

Brunei has remained shut off to leisure travel, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Germany had earlier unilaterally opened its borders to Singapore.

This means that fully vaccinated Singapore residents will be able to travel to Germany on any flight and return on designated VTL flights from Wednesday, to enjoy leisure travel without quarantine.

Fully vaccinated Singapore citizens and permanent residents do not need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) to enter Singapore under the new scheme.

CAAS Director-General Han Kok Juan said the VTL was off to a “cautious start”.

“It will allow us to gain experience and build confidence as we further open our borders and reconnect with the world in a careful and step-by-step manner,” he added.

Two weeks ago, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, in his response to the VTL, said that the Singapore VTL with Brunei will be launched on September 8.

“In such an arrangement, Bruneians don’t need to be quarantined in Singapore, but will still need to undergo measures imposed by the Brunei Government,” he said.

“Once they come back to Brunei Darussalam, they will still need to be quarantined. The situation in Singapore has drastically improved; however, we will continue to apply the categorisation of a country depending on the risk profile.

“If the traveller comes from a low-risk country and stays there for 14 days, they will only be subject to one or two days of quarantine in the Sultanate. But it can change over time, depending on the risk.

“The same goes for Singaporeans coming into the country, where the same conditions apply,” the minister added.