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India scraps quarantine and pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travellers

India is axing its pre-departure test requirement and seven days of self-isolation for fully vaccinated travellers from next week.

Just a month after reimposing a seven-day quarantine period for arriving overseas travellers due to concerns over the Omicron variant, India is dropping all restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from next week, including a surprise ditching of the pre-departure PCR test requirement.

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Effective for arrivals from 14th February 2022 at 0.01am Indian Standard Time, travellers fully vaccinated in Singapore or 81 other countries will no longer require any pre-departure test, nor will they need to serve a quarantine or isolation period.

This will be welcome news for families travelling between the two countries, and opens up a true two-way quarantine-free Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for Singapore residents once again, this time with minimal overall testing requirements.

(Photo: Alessandro Ambrosetti)

Latest India entry process

From now until 13th February 2022, those arriving in India from Singapore will continue to follow the current process, including a PCR test within 72 hours of departure (for those aged 5 or over) and self-isolation for seven days at home or in a hotel room.

A PCR test also applies on Day 8, prior to release from isolation.

From 14th February 2022, the process is significantly simplified for those fully vaccinated, as follows:

  • Complete Self-Declaration Form (SDF)
  • Random 2% of travellers (aged 5+) will undergo a PCR test on arrival
  • Monitor health for 14 days

Random on-arrival testing, if administered, is free of charge.

A vaccine booster dose is not currently required for those travelling to India.

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Unvaccinated travellers, or those not vaccinated in one of the 82 specified countries, will still be subject to a pre-departure PCR test taken at most 72 hours before leaving their origin point.

Full details of the new arrival process are available here.

Omicron in India

In common with most countries, India’s Omicron wave, which started in the new year, is now in rapid decline, having caused far fewer deaths than the more severe Delta variant.

Source: Our World in Data

This is clearly giving India, like so many other countries in the region lately, the confidence to relax border measures.

Testing when travelling to other VTL countries

While there will soon be no testing for those who are fully vaccinated when travelling to India, either before departure or after arrival, several of Singapore’s VTL countries still impose pre-departure tests.

Here’s the latest updated list of requirements (click to expand):

Testing before travelling to selected countries
based on fully vaccinated travellers departing from Singapore by air

Country Test type Test timing Exemptions
Hong Kong PCR
48h before departure
Japan PCR 72h before departure
Age 5 or below
Myanmar PCR 72h before arrival Age 5 or below
Qatar PCR 48h before departure
Age 3 or below
&
Vaccinated Qataris and residents
South Korea PCR
or
ART
PCR 2 days before departure
or
ART 1 day before departure
Age 5 or below
Taiwan PCR 2 days before departure
Taiwan citizens
&
residents

VTL flights India – Singapore

Designated VTL flights from India to Singapore are being operated by Air India, IndiGo, Singapore Airlines and Vistara.

Suites on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Here’s a list of the VTL flights from India, which you’ll need to use on your return journey to benefit from quarantine-free arrival in Singapore, assuming you are also returning from India (click to expand):

27th March 2022 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
 bgcolor= 6E53
A320
MAA
22:20
SIN

05:10*
 bgcolor= SQ529
787-10
MAA
23:15
SIN

06:10*

* Next day

Important

From 1st April 2022, there will be no more designated VTL flights to Singapore.
All fully vaccinated travellers can enter quarantine-free on any flight operated by any airline on any route.

27th March 2022 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
 bgcolor= UK115
A320
DEL
01:45
SIN

10:00
 bgcolor= SQ403
777-300ER
DEL
21:55
SIN

06:10*
 bgcolor= AI380
787-8
DEL
23:00
SIN

07:25*

* Next day

Important

From 1st April 2022, there will be no more designated VTL flights to Singapore.
All fully vaccinated travellers can enter quarantine-free on any flight operated by any airline on any route.

27th March 2022 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T