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Netherlands scraps pre-departure COVID test requirement for Singapore travellers

You'll no longer need a pre-departure test when travelling to any of Singapore's VTL countries in Europe, with the Netherlands the last to ditch its requirement.

Excellent news for travellers from Singapore heading to one of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) countries in Europe, with the Netherlands being the final card in the pack to fall, removing its pre-departure test (PDT) requirement for all overseas travellers effective from today.

It means there are no more countries in Europe on the VTL list requiring a PDT, and increases the total across all VTL countries to 18 (soon to become 20) out of 32.

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The Netherlands has had a mixed history of testing requirements for travellers from Singapore over the last few months, with PDTs first required from mid-November 2021, then dropped in mid-December 2021, before being reinstated again only two days later!

Thankfully this new approach removing the test requirement is part of an EU-wide alignment, so it’s hopefully set to stick this time.

PDT no longer required

Effective from 23rd March 2022, the Netherlands has completely removed its pre-departure test requirement, which until 22nd March 2022 applied to travellers arriving from non-EU countries and had to be one of the following:

  • a PCR test within 48 hours of departure; or
  • an ART test within 24 hours of departure.

Children aged 11 or below were exempt from pre-departure testing.

Fully vaccinated visitors can now travel to the Netherlands from any country without the need to provide a negative pre-departure test result.

Unvaccinated visitors aged 18 or over are only eligible to travel to the Netherlands if they are European residents (children are exempt when travelling with fully vaccinated parents).

Requirements have been updated by IATA Timatic and Singapore Airlines, so you should have no issues at the check-in desk when departing for Amsterdam from today onwards.

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The pre-departure test relaxation also applies to those taking connecting flights to the Netherlands (e.g. via Dubai), as well as direct services.

It’s a wrap for Europe

With the Netherlands no longer requiring a pre-departure test, fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore no longer require one to travel to any of the VTL countries in Europe.

(Photo: Christian Lue)

In fact the only European country still enforcing a PDT requirement is Poland, which is on Singapore’s approved travel list, but has no direct flights.

Latest process for the Netherlands

Here’s the latest process for those travelling to the Netherlands from Singapore.

  • Complete a health declaration form for all travellers aged 12 or over. You will need to show it at check-in and on arrival.
  • All travellers are advised to take a self-test after arriving in the Netherlands. This is not an obligation and is therefore not enforced.

That’s it!

Designated VTL flights

Travellers can take any flight to the Netherlands, since there are no designated VTL services in this direction.

Here are the designated VTL flights from Amsterdam to Singapore, operated by Singapore Airlines and KLM, which you’ll have to take on your return journey to follow the VTL process (click to expand):

27th March 2022 - 31st March 2022

  Days
M T W T F S S
 bgcolor= SQ323
A350 Long Haul
AMS
11:15
SIN

05:55*
KL813
777-300ER
         
AMS
21:55
SIN

16:30*

* 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.

  Full list of all VTL Flights

Hopefully the VTL designated flight concept is on the way out in the coming weeks, with fully vaccinated travellers able to arrive quarantine-free in Singapore when arriving from any country on any service in the not too distant future.

Spontaneous Escapes

Amsterdam is on this month’s KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes deal, with 30% off non-refundable award tickets in Premium Economy and Economy Class during April and May 2022.

Here’s how the award rates look for travel in those two months if you can lock in a Promo award before 31st March 2022.

Premium Economy Class

Singapore to Amsterdam
Miles Flights Aircraft
64,500
45,150
SQ324 A350 LH
Amsterdam to Singapore
Miles Flights Aircraft
64,500
45,150
SQ323 A350 LH

Economy Class

Singapore to Amsterdam
Miles Flights Aircraft
38,000
26,600
SQ324 A350 LH
Amsterdam to Singapore
Miles Flights Aircraft
38,000
26,600
SQ323 A350 LH

Process to Singapore

Obviously no testing now applies for fully vaccinated Singapore residents heading to the Netherlands, 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. Netherlands), 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 / countries for 7 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’ (see above)
  • Take an on-arrival self-swab COVID-19 ART test within 24 hours
  • Self-isolate until the result is available

* Not applicable for Singapore Citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders

Netherlands VTL testing costs

Here are the estimated testing costs per fully vaccinated traveller for a Singapore – Netherlands – Singapore trip example, based on the new testing requirements, which only apply on your return to Singapore itself.

🇳🇱 VTL
Singapore Netherlands
COVID-19 Testing 

Test Cost
Netherlands pre-departure (ART) ~S$50
SG on-arrival (self-ART) ~S$5
Total ~S$55

Total testing costs come in at less than S$60, based on an antigen test with a travel certificate taken in the centre of Amsterdam at around EUR35, though testing at Schiphol Airport is more expensive, so do be aware.

You can now also have your pre-departure ART test in the Netherlands via supervised video link with an approved Tele-ART provider in Singapore, from S$20 plus the cost of your own approved test kit, which may be cheaper and more convenient.

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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, which would make your Netherlands trip completely test free in both directions.

VTL countries still requiring pre-departure testing

With the Netherlands 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 PCR and ART options available in Singapore.

There is no longer any pre-departure test required for fully vaccinated passengers travelling to the following VTL countries:

  • Cambodia
  • Canada (from 1 April)
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • India
  • Italy
  • Maldives
  • Netherlands
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand (from 1 April)
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • UK

These destinations therefore offer cheaper trips, with less hassle involved.



 


 

Summary

The Netherlands was the last of Singapore’s European VTL countries imposing pre-departure testing, so now that the requirement has been dropped we have quarantine-free and test-free travel to practically the whole continent.

Only return testing from your VTL country back to Singapore now applies, but most European countries are eligible for the new supervised video ART method, making this a relatively straightforward process.

Hopefully Singapore will follow Europe’s lead and also continue to simplify and even remove testing requirements for travellers in the weeks ahead.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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