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Singapore SHN update: Where can we travel without hotel quarantine?

Travel to Category 2 and 3 countries is looking like a more and more enticing VTL alternative - with additional choices, less testing, more flexible home SHN and extra transit flight options announced.

In early October the Singapore Government announced a large expansion of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme, allowing two-way quarantine-free travel between a host of countries and Singapore for those fully vaccinated and who test negative for COVID-19, including the UK and the USA.

Travel continues to be restricted to designated VTL flights for the journey to Singapore itself, though unvaccinated children are now eligible and two of the post-arrival PCR tests have been dropped from the original requirements compared to the Germany pilot scheme.

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The VTL isn’t the whole story though, with even more COVID-safe non-VTL countries upgraded to the Category 2 group recently, including Greece and Austria, plus some medium-risk regions joining the Category 3 group next week, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the UAE.

Even more improvements

Yesterday the Singapore Government announced a new series of improvements to its border measures effective from 27th October 2021, which make a non-VTL trip to a Category 2 or Category 3 country even more enticing than before.

  • Category 3 arrivals now serve SHN at home by default. Only Category 4 arrivals will complete hotel SHN.
  • Home SHN for Category 2 and Category 3 arrivals now has a harmonised and more relaxed set of restrictions, meaning voluntary hotel SHN should almost never be needed.
  • 14 new countries have been added to the Category 3 list.
  • Testing has been reduced for Category 2, 3 and 4 arrivals, with no more expensive on-arrival test at Changi Airport.
  • Transit flights no longer count towards your travel history, allowing a wider range of potentially cheaper options in both directions.
Changi Airport T3 immigration. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

While the VTL is obviously the best deal going for most travellers, both the Category 2 (non-VTL) and Category 3 options now allow returning residents to avoid hotel SHN in Singapore, meaning those who are able to work from home can consider an much wider range of overseas trips, in addition to the latest quarantine-free options.

Here’s our latest rundown of the changes, plus a list of the new countries and details of the updated process.

Hotel SHN now only applies to Category 4 countries

Good news for those with 14-day travel history to the 63 countries now in Categories 1 to 3 – hotel SHN is a thing of the past from 27th October 2021!

Only those with 14-day travel history including one or more Category 4 countries will now face 10 days of hotel SHN on arrival in Singapore.

Hotel room ‘imprisonment’ for high-risk arrivals was recently reduced from 14 days to 10 days. (Photo: Accor)

The cost for hotel SHN is now S$1,450 for 10 days, plus testing costs of S$125.

This will hopefully continue to reduce pressure on SHN hotel capacity in Singapore, since many residents returning will simply opt to spend 14 days in the freedom of a VTL country or a Category 2/3 country, to avoid hotel quarantine on arrival.

If you are set to be confined to a hotel room for 10 days due to your Category 4 travel history before arriving in Singapore, check out our guide to upgrading to a specific suite in a hotel of your choice for a little more luxury and a lot more certainty, now starting at S$3,600.

Home SHN for most

Category 1 countries will retain their zero SHN status, while the default for Category 2 and Category 3 arrivals is now home SHN for 7 or 10 days respectively.

Home SHN is now the default for those arriving from Category 2 and 3 countries

Those returning from Category 3 countries will therefore no longer need to apply to serve their SHN at home, and will not need to be fully vaccinated to do so.

Singapore SHN requirements
(from 27th October)

14-day travel history
(can include Singapore)

Fully vaccinated

Partially vaccinated /
Unvaccinated
VTL
No SHN N/A
Category 1
No SHN
Category 2
7 days SHN at home
Category 3
10 days SHN at home
Category 4 10 days SHN in hotel

The requirements for serving your SHN at home have also been relaxed, and are now common for Category 2 and Category 3 travellers.

Travellers may serve SHN at their residence, with household members not sharing the same travel history, regardless of vaccination status. However, if travellers are residing with unvaccinated vulnerable household members, they are strongly encouraged to serve their SHN in isolation in a room and minimise contact with their vulnerable household members.

If sharing a place of residence with others, travellers should designate a specific bathroom to be used by themselves, and other household members to use another bathroom. If a single bathroom has to be shared, ensure that everyone practises good hygiene habits and disinfects the bathroom after each use.

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That means you can share your home with other family members and domestic helpers, who are free to go out and continue their daily lives as normal, while you remain in the property.

A separate bathroom for travellers undergoing SHN is preferable, but not mandatory.

This makes arrival from Category 2 or 3 countries a far less arduous prospect for those who can work from home.

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With 59 countries now falling into these two categories, there should also now be plenty of options for those in Category 4 countries to temporarily relocate to a Category 2/3 country for 14 days, then return without the expense of hotel SHN.

Testing has been reduced

Another positive step for those returning from countries via the Category 2 to 4 requirements is that the S$160 on-arrival test at Changi Airport has been removed.

Only a pre-departure PCR test (within 48 hours) and an SHN exit PCR test on Day 7 (Category 2) or Day 10 (Category 3/4) is now required. The SHN exist PCR test costs S$125.

No more on-arrival swab testing for those returning from Category 2, 3 and 4 countries. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

That also sees an end to the two self-administered ART tests for Category 3 and 4 arrivals who were serving SHN in a hotel, on Day 3 and Day 7.

There are no changes to the testing regime for travellers arriving on the VTL or via the Category 1 lane, who will continue to undergo an on-arrival test.

Transits no longer count towards your travel history

For arrivals in Singapore from 27th October 2021, you’ll no longer need to declare any transit points as countries visited in your 14-day travel history.

This will allow a lot more flexibility for those who are returning to Singapore under the Category 2 or Category 3 lanes.

Transiting in Doha with Qatar Airways will no longer leave a mark on your travel history when returning to Singapore via the Category 2 or Category 3 lanes. (Photo: Hamad International Airport)

For example, if you travel on an indirect flight from a Category 2 country (e.g. France) via a Category 3 country (e.g. Qatar) to Singapore, you will only be obliged follow the Category 2 requirements, assuming you remained within Category 1/2 countries and/or Singapore in the 14 days prior to departure.

For arrivals before 27th October, you would have to follow the Category 3 requirements in this example, because the transit in Qatar still needs to be declared on your travel history.

Travellers will be able to take flights like Paris – Doha – Singapore and retain 7 day SHN at home privileges with this latest change. (Photo: Qatar Airways)

Note that this unfortunately will not help VTL passengers, who must still have spent the last 14 days in Singapore and/or a VTL country, including any transits, to be eligible to take a VTL designated flight to Singapore.

These travellers are able to take indirect flights to the ‘VTL Zone’ via non-VTL countries, but will still have to spend 14 clear days in VTL countries if they do so, before returning on a VTL flight.

How it works, category by category

Your travel history in the last consecutive 14 days determines your arrival category.

The travel history period can also include Singapore itself.

For example, if you travel from Singapore non-stop to a Category 2 country, spend 10 days there, then return non-stop to Singapore, you can follow the Category 2 arrival requirements (i.e. you don’t need to spend 14+ days overseas).

The highest category in your 14-day travel history determines the arrival requirements.

For example, if you spent 10 days in a Category 3 country followed by 10 days in a Category 2 country, then fly non-stop to Singapore, you will have to follow the Category 3 requirements. As mentioned above, transits are not counted as part of your travel history from 27th October.

Vaccinated Travel Lane

Applicable Countries

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea
(from 15 Nov)
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA

Only applicable when your travel history is wholly within only Singapore and/or VTL countries in the last 14 days, and you travel to Singapore on a designated VTL flight.

SHN Requirement

Fully vaccinated


No SHN

You must remain in self-isolation until your negative COVID-19 PCR on-arrival test result is released (typically within 24 hours).

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated


Not allowed

The VTL can only be used by fully vaccinated travellers, with the exception of children aged 12 or under when travelling with fully vaccinated adults.

Testing Requirements
(travellers aged 3 or above)

  • Pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure (PCR)
  • On-arrival test at Changi Airport (PCR, S$160)

Full details of the Vaccinated Travel Lane are available in our guide here.

Category 1

Applicable Countries

๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ด Macau

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Mainland China
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan

SHN Requirement

Regardless of vaccination status


No SHN

You must remain in self-isolation until your negative COVID-19 PCR on-arrival test result is released (typically within 24 hours).

Testing Requirements
(travellers aged 3 or above)

  • On-arrival test at Changi Airport (PCR, S$160)

Category 2

Applicable Countries

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ Bahrain
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡น Bhutan
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ Fiji
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Liechtenstein
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Turkey
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฆ Vatican City

SHN Requirement
(unless arriving on the VTL from selected countries)

Regardless of vaccination status


7-days SHN at home or self-sourced hotel / serviced apartment (from this list).

You can occupy your place of residence with other household members who do not share the same travel history as you and/or are not serving SHN with you, regardless of their vaccination status. Ideally, a separate bathroom should be used, but this is not mandatory.

Most Category 2 arrivals therefore won’t need to consider a hotel stay.

Testing Requirements
(travellers aged 3 or above)

  • Pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure (PCR)
  • Day 7 test (PCR, S$125)

Category 3

Applicable Countries

Newly upgraded (from Category 4) on 27th October.
Newly downgraded (from Category 2) on 27th October.

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ Cambodia
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel

๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป Maldives

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ Mongolia
๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ Rwanda
๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ Samoa
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ Seychelles

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด Tonga
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช UAE
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam

SHN Requirement

Regardless of vaccination status


10-days SHN at home or self-sourced hotel / serviced apartment (from this list).

You can occupy your place of residence with other household members who do not share the same travel history as you and/or are not serving SHN with you, regardless of their vaccination status. Ideally, a separate bathroom should be used, but this is not mandatory.

Most Category 3 arrivals therefore won’t need to consider a hotel stay.

Testing Requirements
(travellers aged 3 or above)

  • Pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure (PCR)
  • Day 10 test (PCR, S$125)

Category 4

Applicable Countries

All countries not in Categories 1-3 above are considered to be Category 4.

SHN Requirement

Regardless of vaccination status


10-days SHN in an SDF hotel (allocated on arrival)

Cost:

  • S$1,450 (one adult); or
  • S$1,900 (two adults)

Testing Requirements
(travellers aged 3 or above)

  • Pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure (PCR)
  • Day 10 test (PCR, S$125)


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Two-way travel options (quarantine-free)

There are now nine fully quarantine-free two-way travel options for Singapore residents heading overseas, under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme (Brunei still requires arrival quarantine).

From mid-November it will also be possible to travel to and from South Korea via a quarantine-free VTL arrangement, though the rules are set to be a little more onerous for that one.

Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lanes

Already Running ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK*
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA
From 15 Nov ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea

* The UK includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but not the Republic of Ireland

Full details for the Vaccinated Travel Lanes are available in our guide here.

Two-way travel options (home SHN on return)

For those able to SHN at home for 7 days or 10 days after an overseas trip, for example those who can work remotely, there’s now a bigger list than ever of two-way options with no hotel quarantine at either end of the journey.

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This your destination to be a Category 2 or Category 3 country that is accepting Singapore residents for leisure travel purposes (no Category 1 countries are accepting tourists quarantine-free at the time of writing).

Note that some of these Category 2 or Category 3 countries require full vaccination for a quarantine-free arrival.

For those arriving in Singapore from 27th October 2021, here’s how the list looks.


7-days SHN at home

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ Bahrain
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada*
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark*
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ Fiji
(from 1 Dec)
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France*
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany*
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy*
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Liechtenstein
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands*
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain*
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Turkey
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK*
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA*
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฆ Vatican City


10-days SHN at home

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป Maldives

๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ Rwanda
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ Seychelles
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia

๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช UAE

* When not travelling under the VTL scheme

As you can see there are 43 options in total with two-way leisure travel allowed, all of which involve only SHN at home for Singapore residents on return.

Note that some of these countries require pre-departure testing and/or post-arrival testing, even for fully vaccinated visitors, so do be aware of the associated costs.

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Some countries also apply a short (e.g. 24-hour) self-isolation period where you will be confined to your hotel room while awaiting for the results of an on-arrival PCR test, such as Rwanda.

Two options from VTL countries

Why might you choose to return from a VTL country via the Category 2 or Category 3 lane, rather than the quarantine-free VTL? There are a few potential benefits, namely:

  • You have the ability to also visit one or more non-VTL Category 2/3 countries (e.g. in Europe) within the 14 day period and retain Category 2/3 arrival requirements
  • You and your travelling party do not all need to be fully vaccinated, depending on the countries you are visiting
  • You can take a non-VTL direct flight back to Singapore, potentially cheaper and/or with Saver award space availability
  • You can take an indirect flight back to Singapore via any country (from 27th October), like Qatar, Hong Kong or the UAE, and retain Category 2/3 arrival requirements based on your non-transit travel history


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Summary

More welcome changes coming through next week for SHN protocols applicable for residents returning to Singapore.

A total of 63 countries are now exempt from hotel SHN, with more relaxed rules about serving your 7-day or 10-day self-isolation period at home, and less testing also reducing the costs.

For those comfortable with a 7-day or 10-day home SHN period after a trip, which will include many of the ‘work from home’ crowd, a large number of non-VTL countries are now on the Category 2 or Category 3 list, including Greece, Turkey, South Africa and the Maldives.

The Maldives is a Category 3 country, for those able to work from home for 10 days after a relaxing beach vacation. (Photo: Anantara)

Unfortunately there were no new VTL announcements in this round, but we’re still expecting further two-way quarantine-free arrangements to be announced in the coming weeks, probably kicking off with Australia before Christmas.

Will you consider a Category 2 or Category 3 trip given the expanded list of options and these latest relaxations? Let us know in the comments section below.

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50 comments

  1. By far the clearest explanation Iโ€™ve seen yet on these rules. ICA, ST and CNA should really employ you to write up these rules for them so people understand!

    1. Hi Andrew, do you have a link to a Gov website stating that Cat 2 SHN at home is possible even if there are other household members not sharing the same itinerary and not SHN-ing with the traveler, as long as the household members are vaccinated? Any other caveats, eg, what if one of the household member is a senior? Thanks!

      1. Hi Terence,

        As you probably know ICA keeps the criteria for SHN at home for Cat 2 arrivals pretty secret, stating only “Travellers may complete their SHN at their own residence”, unlike for Cat 3 arrivals where the exact criteria is laid out clearly.

        We have asked ICA for a detailed set of Cat 2 criteria, to no avail.

        Based on people we know who are actually doing Cat 2 SHN at home now, in reality you’ll be asked to ensure any family members in your residence without your travel history are fully vaccinated and you can isolate from them and use your own toilet (preferably ensuite, but they seem to flip-flop on that too!). They can still go out and are not subject to SHN.

        Hope it helps!

      2. I’m looking for exactly this same information, along with information on whether I need to apply for a re-entry permit of any sort. The information rabbit-hole is so hard to navigate on govt websites!

      3. Iโ€™m doing my 7D SHN at home right now on Cat II and isolating from my wife who did not travel. Quite straightforward but you have to wear a tag all the time. She can go out as normal. Just isolate in my room and use my own toilet, thatโ€™s it.

        Kind of strange to be a semi prisoner in your own home but it beats hotel quarantine and is free. Alternative was she could move to folks place and give me free reign of our condo. She say no ๐Ÿคฃ

      4. Thanks Joel for the data point.

        I now have an official statement from ICA on this:

        7-day Stay-Home Notice
        If you are serving your Stay-Home Notice in your place of residence with other family members, your family members may continue to live in the same place of residence. However, you and your family should avoid contact with each other and observe good personal hygiene practices.

        If you are living with a vulnerable person, consider alternative accommodation for yourself or the vulnerable person.

        If you become unwell, seek medical attention immediately.

  2. 100% agree with John. Simple and straight forward tables showing all the key info (origin, options, costs). Official sources are a maze to navigate and once you find the info, impossible to understand.

  3. How about those domestic helper who’s gone home ( Philippines) are they allow to entry to Singapore? Some don’t mind to shoulder the expenses . Are they allow to come back to Singapore?

    1. Yes the helper’s employer or employment agency can apply between 3 and 30 days from the intended date of entry here.

      The 10-day SHN for helpers is charged at S$1,050, plus testing costs. The employer must pay these charges.

      See the details here under ‘Category IV’ for helpers returning from the Philippines.

    1. Same for Qatar, which has very low local case transmission and an identical vaccination rate as Singapore. They even used the same two vaccines (exclusively Pfizer and Moderna)!

      Publicly the “concern” is that UAE (AUH/DXB) and Qatar (DOH) are large transit hubs with people from all over the world mixing in the transit area each day.

      Privately they know adding either of these countries into Cat 2/3 will be a kick in the balls for SQ right now.

  4. Well at least they added Liechtenstein to Category 3 to match Switzerland… They’d probably forgotten about it earlier!

    I’m also hopeful we’ll see more easing of restrictions, and apparently there’s pressure now from the US on Singapore to reciprocate on entry requirements (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-05/u-s-pushing-singapore-to-let-american-visitors-enter-freely). Per capita we have a much higher incidence of Covid-19 than the US now. Last year it was Singapore opening up to NZ and Australia unilaterally hoping for reciprocity…

    Another thing I’ve been wondering about is whether it still make sense to have all of these quarantine requirements in place. Over the last two weeks the number of imported cases has largely been in the single digits, while we’re at more than 2000 in the community (the cases we know about; the asymptomatic untested reservoir is likely to be bigger). At some point this will stop making sense altogether, even if the number of arrival were multiple a hundredfold.

    1. If your HK transit falls within the 14 consecutive days before your flight back to Singapore, you wonโ€™t be eligible to take a VTL flight back.

      Provided your trip is 14+ clear days in Germany itโ€™s ok – otherwise Cat 2 (non-VTL) for the way back.

  5. Hi Andrew, thanks very much for this! Had 2 questions on your comment below on Cat 2 SHN, (1) can you please point me to the official website that mentions this just to be sure, and (2) do you know if other household members can leave home while I serve my 7-day SHN?

    “You can occupy your home with other household members who do not share the same travel history as you and/or are not serving SHN with you, provided they are fully vaccinated. Most Category 2 arrivals therefore wonโ€™t need to consider a hotel stay.”

    1. Hi Kevin,

      As you probably know ICA keeps the criteria for SHN at home for Cat 2 arrivals pretty secret, stating only “Travellers may complete their SHN at their own residence”, unlike for Cat 3 arrivals where the exact criteria is laid out clearly.

      We have asked ICA for a detailed set of Cat 2 criteria, to no avail.

      Based on people we know who are actually doing Cat 2 SHN at home now, in reality you’ll be asked to ensure any family members in your residence without your travel history are fully vaccinated and you can isolate from them and use your own toilet (preferably ensuite, but they seem to flip-flop on that too!). They can still go out and are not subject to SHN.

      Hope it helps!

  6. Hi Andrew,

    If i am landing in Singapore on 27 Dec 5 pm when will my 7 day stay home will be over.

    Also this 14 day history is based on day or does it count entry time in that country meaning is i landed Cat2 country on 14-Dec aftrernoon 3 pm and then land in Singapore 27-Dec 5 pm. Will i be considered 14 in Cat2 country.

    Thank You

    1. SafeTravel has a good calculator here for working out your 10-day / 7-day SHN end date.

      For 14-day travel history I understand your arrival date in that zone is โ€˜Day 0โ€™ and your departure date therefore has to be โ€˜Day 14+โ€™.

      You therefore need to have spent 14 nights there to qualify and therefore in your example I believe the earliest departure date from that country to Singapore would be 28-Dec.

  7. Hi Andrew, Iโ€™m a Singaporean fully vaccinated and residing in Malaysia. Iโ€™m planning to come back first week of December, can I write in now to appeal for SHN at my house or I need to only appeal 3 days before Iโ€™m back to Singapore ? If I can write in, which website so I log-in to? Appreciate your response. Thank you

  8. Iโ€™d be interested in how it works for employment pass holders. I know the employer (for some weird reason) has to request permission to re-enter but itโ€™s not very clear how that works and what the plan is to expand these rules to all residents.

    1. Re-entry approval is still required for pass holders arriving from non-VTL countries, via your HR department.

      My understanding from our reader’s recent data points is that Category 2 arrivals for Employment Pass holders have been approved with few issues recently, since that category shifted to no longer requiring any hotel SHN (SDF) capacity. I would assume this will filter through to Category 3 arrivals too with this latest announcement.

  9. “(no Category 1 countries are accepting tourists at the time of writing)” – technically Hong Kong accepts tourists from Singapore if they are vaxed, just 14 days hotel quarantine on arrival

  10. Hi Andrew, thanks for the write up. I was wondering about the definition of transit. If say I fly to IST on SQ, then took a Turkish flight to UK then back via the same way, I will be subjected to 7 days SHN I suppose?

    1. We have sought clarification from ICA on this since they did not define it.

      I suspect if you remain ‘airside’ within the transit area and do not clear immigration at your transit point that it’s fine. If you clear immigration then immediately check in again for an onward flight without leaving the airport, I suspect that’s not fine (in most places, your passport will now be stamped, for one thing).

      Will let you know if we hear back with any clarity.

      1. Thanks Andrew. I think in some cases SQ will allow our luggages to be transferred to Turkish without us having to physically lug them, that would mean that there’s no need to ‘exit’ the transit area. I suppose if they are all under Star Alliance it should be fine, otherwise the moment we exit to check in our luggages from the airline counter then it won’t be ok.

      1. At ZRH the test center at T2 offers a gargle PCR test. The Test & Fly at T1 arrivals does regular nose tests (throat for kids).

  11. I wonder why is Pakistan still in Category (IV) when the seven-day moving average of COVID-19 community cases in Pakistan is consistently significantly lower than many countries in Category (III)?

    There is a large Singaporean community of Pakistani origin that look forward to travel to Pakistan during the school holidays to meet their extended relatives and friends. It is not convenient for many to afford and serve SHN at a SHN Dedicated Facility.

    Do you anticipate this will change, and when?

  12. Andrew

    What I understood that we can CAT 4 country to CAT 3 country and use CAT3 country as trnasit point only then we just need to serve home SHN ? Am I correct ?

    Now there is no need to on Arrival PCR test when coming from CAT 4 country ?

  13. Seems like ICA quietly updated the VTL isolation rule to follow Cat 2 and Cat 3 SHN rule where share bathroom is allowed (noticed today 18 Nov 2021). I actually wrote to ICA requesting them to review this strict isolation rule under VTL travel on 31 October 2021. It doesn’t make sense if Cat 2 and Cat 3 travellers can share bathroom during the SHN but VTL traveller needs to isolate in a private room with ensuite bathroom while waiting for their result. Glad to see this just few days before my travel to VTL city.

    https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/vtl/travel-checklist

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