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Finland ends pre-departure testing for travellers from Singapore

Finland no longer requires a pre-departure test for any international arrivals, including travellers coming from Singapore.

If you’ve been following the site for the last few days, it’ll be no surprise to you that European countries are gradually resetting to normality after the latest Omicron wave of COVID-19, and that includes many of those identified by Singapore as part of its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme.

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That’s meant a ditching of pre-departure testing and general pandemic restrictions across the continent, and this time its Finland making life easier for travel-starved Singapore residents making quarantine-free overseas trips.

PDT no longer required

Effective from 15th February 2022, Finland has scrapped its pre-departure test requirement, which was in place since 21st December 2021 in response to the Omicron wave, and comprised:

  • PCR test or ART test conducted no more than 48 hours before arrival.

Fully vaccinated visitors can now travel to Finland without the need to provide a negative test result. This policy applies to travellers from Singapore and all countries outside the EU / Schengen area, like the UK, USA and Australia.

Helsinki. (Photo: Alexandr Bormotin)

Vaccination requirement

In order to travel to Finland quarantine-free as a non-resident, you must have received your last dose of an approved vaccine course at least seven days and no more than 270 days prior to your arrival day.

That means if you were fully vaccinated back in May 2021 or earlier, you’ll probably need to have received at least one booster dose in order to travel to Finland.

Approved vaccines for travel to Finland are:

  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)
  • Covaxin
  • Covishield
  • Janssen
  • Moderna (Spikevax)
  • Nuvaxovid (Novavax)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • Sinopharm (BIBP)
  • Sinovac

If you have had only one dose of a two-dose vaccine (e.g. Pfizer) and you have a COVID-19 recovery certificate you can also travel to Finland without quarantine.

Exemptions

Travellers born in 2007 or later, which is those turning 15 years of age or less in the calendar year of 2022, are exempt from the requirement to be fully vaccinated when travelling to Finland.

Nationals and residents of Finland are exempt from the requirement to be fully vaccinated when returning to the country.

VTL countries still requiring pre-departure testing

With Finland now off the list, a total of 14 VTL countries will require a pre-departure test for fully vaccinated Singapore residents in the outbound direction from Changi.

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
Brunei PCR 48h before departure
or
72h before departure (Singapore RGL)
Fiji PCR
or
ART
PCR 2 days before departure
or
ART 24h before departure
Age 11 or below
Hong Kong PCR
48h before departure
Israel PCR 72h before departure Isreali citizens and residents
Myanmar PCR 72h before arrival Age 5 or below
New Zealand PCR
or
ART
PCR 48h before departure
or
ART 24h before departure
Age 1 or below
Philippines PCR
or
ART
PCR 48h before departure
or
ART 24h before departure
Age 3 or below
Qatar PCR 48h before departure
Age 3 or below
&
Vaccinated Qataris and residents
South Korea PCR 2 days before departure Age 5 or below
ART 1 day before departure also accepted from 23 May 2022
USA PCR
or
ART
1 day before departure Age 1 or below

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 Finland, other VTL countries not requiring pre-departure testing include:

  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

That’s a total of 10 two-way quarantine-free options with no outbound PDT requirement.

VTL flights Helsinki – Singapore

Those visiting Finland can return to Singapore on designated VTL services operated by Finnair, as shown in the following table (click to expand):

6th December 2021 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
AY131
A350-900
HEL
23:55
SIN

17:15*

* 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.

The airline has yet to confirm its designated VTL flight schedule from 27th March 2022 onwards.

  Full list of all VTL Flights

Process to Singapore

Obviously no testing now applies for fully vaccinated Singapore residents heading to Finland, 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. Finland), 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 or LAMP 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

Testing costs

Here are the approximate testing costs for a Singapore – Finland – Singapore trip, using the VTL on your return, now that no pre-departure test is required on the outbound journey.

🇫🇮 VTL
Singapore Finland
COVID-19 Testing 

Test Cost
Finland pre-departure (ART) ~S$120
SG on-arrival (PCR)* S$125
SG Day 2 (self ART) ~S$7
SG Day 3 (self ART) ~S$7
SG Day 4 (self ART) ~S$7
SG Day 5 (self ART) ~S$7
SG Day 6 (self ART) ~S$7
SG Day 7 (self ART) ~S$7
Total ~S$287

* A more expensive S$204 rapid 1-hour on-arrival LAMP test is also available

As you can see pre-departure testing in Finland, even for an antigen test, is very expensive compared to most VTL countries, so it isn’t a cheap option to return to Singapore from there.

Remember if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days with documentary proof, you are now exempt from all pre-departure testing, on-arrival testing and isolation requirements when travelling to Singapore.



 


 

Summary

With Finland ditching its pre-departure test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers, there are now 10 countries for Singapore residents to make two-way quarantine-free trips without having to take a COVID test on the outbound part of their journey.

These include India, Denmark, France and the UK.

Do note that you’ll need to ensure you have received a vaccine booster dose when travelling to Finland, if it has been around nine months or more since the final dose of your primary vaccination regime.

With all these overseas relaxations from Singapore’s VTL countries, let’s hope for positive news of similar simplification and cost savings for the VTL process itself when returning to the Lion City.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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