France has become the latest country on Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) list to scrap its requirements for a pre-departure test for those who have completed a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of the country of origin, meaning those heading there on a VTL trip can now do so with no outbound testing.
While France’s previous pre-departure test requirement did not apply to those fully vaccinated travelling from within the European Union, travellers coming from other countries like Singapore needed to have a negative COVID-19 PCR or ART test administered within 48 hours of departure.
This policy was implemented in early December, as the Omicron wave began in Europe.
Children aged 11 or below were exempt from the testing requirement.
Effective from 12th February 2022, the pre-departure test requirement has been scrapped for all fully vaccinated travellers.
“In view of the new phase of the pandemic characterised, in most countries, by the predominance of the Omicron variant and a high level of vaccination, the government has decided to lighten the health control system at the borders, particularly for vaccinated travellers.
“Proof of vaccination will be sufficient to come to France whatever country you are coming from, just as it was before the spread of the Omicron variant.”Jean Caxtex, French Prime Minister
Those aged 11 or below travelling to France with fully vaccinated parents or guardians are considered fully vaccinated, even if they are not.
Travellers aged 12 or above who are not fully vaccinated cannot travel to France from outside the EU without having an essential reason.
A booster dose is not currently required to enter France, like it is for some other European countries if it has been more than nine months since you completed your first vaccine course.
However, a booster is required for France’s vaccine pass (previously ‘Pass Sanitaire’), allowing entry to entry bars, restaurants and tourist attractions, if it has been more than seven months since your full vaccination.
The pass is also required for those wishing to take domestic flights and long-distance trains.
At this stage you will 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 here.
The pre-departure testing change does not yet reflect in the IATA Timatic database, nor has Singapore Airlines updated its travel restrictions for those heading to France, so you may still face a few hurdles convincing the check-in staff of this new requirement for the next few days while the updated regulations filter through.
VTL countries still requiring pre-departure testing
With France now off the list, a total of 15 VTL countries will require a pre-departure test for fully vaccinated Singapore residents in the outbound direction from the Lion City.
You’ll be subject to testing requirements when travelling to the following countries, in addition to VTL testing on your return:
Testing before travelling to selected countries
based on fully vaccinated travellers departing from Singapore by air
|Country||Test type||Test timing||Exemptions|
||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
|PCR 2 days before departure
ART 1 day before departure
|Age 5 or below|
|Taiwan||PCR||2 days before departure
If you are heading to a country requiring pre-departure testing, be sure to check our comprehensive updated guide to the cheapest options available in Singapore.
Aside from France, other VTL countries not requiring pre-departure testing include:
- United Kingdom
VTL flights Paris – Singapore
Those visiting France can return on VTL services operated by Air France or Singapore Airlines, as shown in the following table (click to expand):
Air France is increasing its Paris – Singapore VTL flights to daily from May 2022.
Process to Singapore
Obviously no testing now applies for fully vaccinated Singapore residents heading to France from this weekend onwards, but on the way back to Singapore the standard process will apply, as shown below.
VTL Process Singapore
- Must be fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine in Singapore, or any VTL country (e.g. France), or any EU member state, or any non-EU countries that have joined the EU DCC system
- Must have an accepted digital proof of vaccination
- Must have stayed in Singapore or any VTL country for 14 days
- Apply for a VTP in advance*
- Purchase COVID-19 travel insurance (min. coverage of S$30,000)**
- Take a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR or ART test (up to 2 days before departure)
- Travel to Singapore on designated ‘VTL flights’
- Take an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test
- Self-isolate until the result is available (typically 4-6 hours)
- Take Day 2 to Day 7 self-swab ART tests using Singapore’s approved test kits, or those approved for use in your VTL origin country if you brought them with you, if you will leave your accommodation on those days
* Not applicable for Singapore Citizens or permanent residents
** Not applicable for Singapore Citizens, permanent residents or pass holders
More positive changes to the testing regime for VTL travellers, with France now scrapping its pre-departure test along with an increasing number of countries now relaxing requirements with falling Omicron numbers.
This milder form of the virus is increasingly being seen as a potential path to long-term ‘endemic COVID’, and it will be interesting to see how Singapore responds with its own inevitable travel relaxations in the coming weeks, as other regional countries also begin to open up.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)