Great news for those looking forward to further expansion for Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme, with confirmation that Australia and Switzerland are joining the list, meaning more options for quarantine-free trips from next month.
Unfortunately for those keen to head to Australia, the arrangement will be one-way initially, with Singapore welcoming fully vaccinated Australian residents, but Australia initially only accepting Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families at this stage.
“We expect student and business pass holders from Singapore to be able to enter Australia, after Australia has finalised the arrangement for their entry. Other travellers from Singapore would not be able to travel to Australia until a later stage.”Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
Reciprocal arrangements for student and business pass holders from Singapore are expected to be in place by 23rd November, according to The Straits Times.
Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison recently announced that international visitors should be welcomed into Australia again “before the end of the year”, so hopefully we don’t have too long to wait to make a leisure trip.
Eligible travellers can currently fly from Singapore to Australia on one of SIA’s ‘FEPO flights’.
The latest VTL arrangements will be effective from 8th November 2021.
Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lanes
|Already Running||🇧🇳 Brunei (one-way)
|From 8 Nov||🇦🇺 Australia (one-way)
|From 15 Nov||🇰🇷 South Korea|
As you can see these two additional options will beat the launch of the VTL with South Korea by a week. Don’t forget, the rules are set to be a little more onerous for that particular arrangement.
There are therefore now 13 countries under the Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangement, two of which haven’t opened two-way travel at this stage.
Vaccinated Travel Lanes
- Must have stayed in a VTL country/region and/or Singapore for 14 days
- Travel to Singapore on designated ‘VTL flights’
- No restrictions on travel purpose or itineraries
- Must be fully vaccinated in Singapore or any VTL country, with an accepted digital proof of vaccination
- Unvaccinated children aged 12 or under can accompany their parents
- Visitors and Singapore pass holders must apply for a VTP in advance
- Two COVID-19 PCR tests replace quarantine / Stay-Home Notice in Singapore
COVID-19 testing: Switzerland
For Switzerland no pre-departure or on-arrival testing is required for fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore, so like most European countries already on the VTL list it’s just a case of taking:
- A pre-departure test within 48 hours of your VTL flight back to Singapore (SQ345)
- An on-arrival test at Changi Airport, followed by a self-isolation period awaiting the test results
A PCR test with a 5-hour results turnaround time is available at Zurich Airport for CHF 149 (around S$220), which is definitely on the expensive side. Hopefully there are cheaper options in the city centre.
In Switzerland you can take a PCR test at all GPs, hospitals, or specially set up test centres.
Unfortunately Switzerland does not accept Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccinations for arriving tourists at the time of writing.
COVID-19 testing: Australia
Those eligible and travelling to Australia will require a pre-departure PCR test, taken within 72 hours of departure from Singapore, in addition to the ‘standard’ two VTL tests on arrival in Singapore.
Here’s how it looks for those eligible to travel, with a testing regime that will almost certainly apply to leisure travellers later this year, once the VTL opens up as a two-way arrangement for all.
|Singapore pre-departure*||S$125 – S$200|
|Total||~S$435 – S$510|
* Prices vary between providers and locations.
As you can see that means an approximate S$435 – S$510 per head testing cost, for a round-trip.
Vaccination certificate requirements
Passengers travelling on a VTL flight to Singapore will need to show their digitally-verifiable vaccination records, provided they have been fully vaccinated in any VTL country, or in Singapore.
Valid sources are as follows:
For those vaccinated in Singapore:
- A vaccination status on the TraceTogether app or HealthHub app
- A vaccination certificate issued by the Singapore Ministry of Health in English
For those not vaccinated in Singapore:
- Holding an EU Digital COVID certificate (EUDCC) issued by any VTL country 🇪🇺
- With a SMART Health Card – CommonTrust Network for the 🇺🇸 US and 🇨🇦 Canada
- With a COVID Pass in the National Health Service (NHS) mobile app in the 🇬🇧 UK
- With an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in 🇦🇺 Australia
- With a vaccination certificate issued by the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), as well as authorised clinics and hospitals in 🇰🇷 South Korea
Singapore says “we are currently working on accepting digitally verifiable vaccination certificates by other issuers. Further details will be shared at a later date”.
Australia’s vaccination requirements
Once Australia opens up further to all vaccinated travellers from Singapore, we expect the following current requirements will still apply in terms of your vaccination status when travelling there:
- Being fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine, such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen-Cilag, Moderna, Coronavac, or Covishield, at least 7 days prior to arrival in Australia.
- Children under the age of 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition are exempted from this requirement.
- The vaccination certificate must be in English, i.e. either the Australian Government issued International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC), or a paper or digital vaccination certification issued by a national or state/provincial level authority or accredited vaccination provider.
Passengers also currently must complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before their flight departure, which is likely to remain a requirement for the foreseeable future.
Designated VTL flights
Singapore Airlines will operate designated VTL flights from Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and from Zurich in Switzerland.
Scoot will also operate VTL flights from Melbourne and Sydney, while Swiss International Air Lines will operate VTL flights from Zurich. All eligible services start on 8th November.
8th November 2021 – 26th March 2022
* Next day
8th November 2021 – 30th November 2021