With countries around the world remaining on alert over the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, France has become the latest country on Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) list to impose pre-departure testing for travellers before they check in for their flights.
This new decree (French) follows the government’s weekly Defence Council meeting, where it was agreed to tighten the country’s entry requirements, even for fully vaccinated travellers who were previously exempt from pre-departure testing.
See this statement from the French Embassy in Singapore.
Singapore is currently on France’s “orange list”, meaning only fully vaccinated travellers can visit without needing an essential reason, and without any quarantine requirement.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers aged 12 or over aren’t allowed to visit France from “orange list” countries for non-essential reasons.
New PDT requirements
Effective for arrivals from Saturday 4th December 2021, all travellers from Singapore to France will require:
- A PCR or ART test conducted no more than 48 hours prior to departure.
For those taking non-stop services to Paris from Changi, the first flights to be affected are:
- SQ336 departing at 00:15 on Saturday 4th December
- AF257 departing at 23:05 on Saturday 4th December
In the SQ336 example on 4th December, you’ll therefore need a negative PCR test result or an eligible* ART test result from a swab taken on or after 00:15 on Thursday 2nd December (-48h).
If you are travelling from Singapore to France via a transit point, for example with Emirates via Dubai, note that the pre-departure test requirement timing applies before departure from the first embarkation point (i.e. still Singapore in this case).
If you have a busy schedule, Raffles Medical at Changi Airport Terminal 3 (Basement 2) is open 24 hours a day and provides 30-minute turnaround ART testing at S$30.
It may therefore be easier to arrive at the airport earlier than planned and have the test done there before proceeding to check-in for your flight.
You will also still be required to complete a “statement of honour” (déclaration sur l’honneur) health form when entering France, in which you swear that you do not have COVID-19 and have not met anyone with it in recent days.
You can download the form via this page.
What about children?
The pre-departure test requirement will not apply to children aged 11 or younger, by date of birth on arrival in France.
They can accompany you unvaccinated when travelling to France, without testing.
Other VTL countries requiring pre-departure testing
France isn’t the only VTL country requiring a pre-departure test for fully vaccinated Singapore residents.
You’ll also be subject to testing requirements when travelling to the following countries, in addition to VTL testing on your return:
Testing before travelling to selected VTL countries
|VTL country||Test type||Test timing||Exemptions|
|Australia||PCR||72h before departure||Age 4 or below|
|Brunei||PCR||48h before departure
72h before departure (Singapore RGL)
|Cambodia||PCR||72h before arrival||—|
|Canada||PCR||72h before departure||Age 4 or below|
|PCR 72h before arrival
ART 48h before arrival
|Age 14 or below
|Fiji||PCR||3 days* before departure||Age 11 or below|
|48h before arrival||Age 15 or below
Finnish Citizens / PRs
|48h before departure||Age 11 or below|
|India||PCR||72h before departure||Age 4 or below|
|Indonesia||PCR||72h before departure||—|
|PCR 72h before arrival
ART 24h before arrival
|Age 5 or below|
|Malaysia||PCR||2 days before departure||Age 2 or below|
|Maldives||PCR||96h before departure||Age below 1|
|PCR 48h before departure
ART 24h before departure
|Age 11 or below|
|South Korea||PCR||48h before departure||Age 5 or below|
|Sri Lanka||PCR||72h before departure||Age 1 or below|
|48h before arrival||Age 11 or below|
|PCR 72h before departure
ART 24h before departure
|Age 15 or below|
|Thailand||PCR||72h before departure||Age 5 or below|
|1 day before departure||Age 1 or below|
* Passengers arriving in Fiji from the UK or USA must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 1 day of departure of the first flight or series of flights booked on the same itinerary.
Testing costs in Singapore
If you require a pre-departure test in Singapore before embarking on a VTL trip, here’s our latest rundown of the cheapest locations to get a test suitable for travel.
Note in particular that self-administered ART tests are not accepted for travel purposes, so you’ll still need to visit a clinic and obtain a certificate from the health provider when travelling to countries that accept an ART swab, like France.
Based on our recent analysis, pre-departure test costs in Singapore are around:
- PCR: S$107 (cheapest) – S$149 (average)
- Home PCR: S$138 (cheapest) – S$193 (average)
- ART: S$27 (cheapest) – S$37 (average)
VTL flights CDG-SIN
Here’s a list of the VTL (and non-VTL) flights from Paris to Singapore, which you’ll need to use on your return journey to benefit from quarantine-free arrival in Singapore, assuming you are also returning from France (click to expand):
VTL testing to Singapore has also been beefed up
On your return from France (or any VTL country), you’ll now face two additional COVID-19 ART tests on Day 3 and Day 7 after your arrival day (Day 1).
These take the form of a supervised self-administered COVID-19 ART test at one of over 40 Quick Test Centres (QTCs) / Combined Test Centres (CTCs) on Day 3 and Day 7 (arrival day is Day 1). The cost is S$15 including GST per test.
You must book an appointment before your visit. If you do not have a local mobile phone number, you won’t be able to make an appointment and will instead have to register in-person at the QTC/CTC.
You do not need to self-isolate after the Day 3 or Day 7 tests. Results are provided by SMS within 1 hour, but you can leave the QTC/CTC immediately after the test itself.
Unfortunately it means there will now be four separate COVID-19 tests to complete when travelling to Singapore on the VTL, for those touching down from 3rd December 2021, which slightly increases the associated costs.
|VTL country pre-departure*||~S$30||~S$30|
* Prices vary between providers and locations.
In addition to the new pre-departure test requirement, that’s now five COVID-19 tests on a roundtrip from Singapore to France.
France becomes the 16th country on Singapore’s VTL list requiring pre-departure testing for those travelling from Singapore, even for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
For arrivals from Saturday 4th December 2021, a pre-departure PCR or ART test will need to be presented for each passenger aged 12 or over at the check-in desk in Singapore.
Elsewhere in Europe, Italy and the Netherlands also require pre-departure testing.
This list may grow further, or existing test requirements for some countries could be enhanced, as concerns over the Omicron variant continue to dominate in the days and weeks ahead.
(Cover Photo: Mika Baumeister)