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Singapore scraps pre-departure testing for unvaccinated travellers

From 13th February, unvaccinated travellers will no longer need to have a pre-departure COVID-19 test before travelling to Singapore, while mask-wearing in almost all settings, including on public transport, will become optional.

Singapore is finalising return towards almost completely pre-COVID travel norms, with a recent announcement by the Ministry of Health that there will no longer be any vaccine-based differentiation as far as pre-departure testing is concerned for residents and visitors entering the country, effective from 13th February 2023.

The news means that those aged 13 or above who are either partially vaccinated or completely unvaccinated will no longer be required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within two days of departure.


The news comes six months after this same group of individuals were no longer obliged to complete a seven-day period of self-isolation (SHN), and absolved of any post-arrival test requirement.

This will allow unvaccinated short-term visitors and long-term pass holders to enter restriction-free from 13th February 2023, and comes as Singapore removes the last of its COVID-19 restrictions, including mask-wearing on public transport, from the same date.

Current rules

Currently, all travellers aged 13 and above may enter Singapore without testing or quarantine, only if they have taken minimum WHO-EUL vaccine dosage listed below at least two weeks before arrival in Singapore, and can show proof of vaccination:

  1. One dose of CanSinoBIO/Convidecia or Janssen/J&J vaccine; or
  2. Two doses of AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Moderna/Spikevax, or Covishield vaccine administered at least 24 days apart; or
  3. Two doses of Novavax/Covovax/Nuvaxovid, Pfizer/BioNTech/COMIRNATY, or Sinopharm vaccine, administered at least 17 days apart; or
  4. Two doses of Sinovac vaccine, administered at least 13 days apart; or
  5. Mixture of any two doses of vaccines listed in points 1-4, administered at least 17 days apart; or
  6. Any of the vaccination combinations listed in points 1-5 and subsequently recovered from COVID-19; or
  7. At least one dose of any WHO EUL approved vaccines listed in points 1-4, taken at least 28 days after a COVID-19 positive diagnosis.

Those aged 12 or below by year of birth (i.e. those born on or after 1st January 2011) are exempted from all COVID-19 border measures, regardless of vaccination status.


Those aged 13 or above who are not fully vaccinated in accordance with the requirements above can still travel to Singapore, but currently they must:

  • Have a Pre-Departure Test (PDT) within two days of departure, in the form of a PCR test or an ART test administered by a trained professional, or self-administered ART that is remotely supervised by an approved ART provider in Singapore (for Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders only); and
  • Have travel insurance covering COVID-19, with at least $30,000 of medical coverage, as outlined here (for Short-term visitors only)

All travellers must also complete the SG Arrival Card within three days of arrival from overseas.

What’s changing?

From 13th February 2023, Singapore will scrap all its COVID-19 border measures, meaning:

  • All travellers, including those who are not vaccinated, will not have to show proof of a negative pre-departure test before entering Singapore.
  • Unvaccinated visitors will no longer have to purchase COVID-19 travel insurance.
Unvaccinated travellers will be able to enter Singapore restriction-free from 13th February 2023. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

Despite these final border relaxations, the Ministry of Health is reserving the right to reactivate the now-disbanded Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) if required in future.

“The VTF will remain in place for reactivation if there are international developments of concern, such as new severe variants or signs that our healthcare capacity is strained by imported cases.”

Singapore Ministry of Health

The Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC) remains

The only requirement that will remain in force is completion of the SG Arrival Card, which has now become a permanent feature for all travellers including Singapore Citizens and residents arriving by air, in order to guard against a range of diseases of concern (not just COVID-19).

Only Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders who are entering via land checkpoints are exempt from completing the SGAC.

Thankfully, the SGAC has been progressively simplified since its intorduction.

Travellers can complete it within three days of arrival in Singapore, ideally doing so before departure. The modified SGAC comprises:

  • Personal particulars
  • Travel details, including arrival date
  • Health declaration
  • Accommodation details in Singapore*
  • Vaccination status, including the submission of proof of vaccination for those who are vaccinated outside Singapore.**

* Foreign visitors only
** Foreign visitors only, not required from 13th February 2023

A sign at Changi Airport reminding passengers to complete their SGAC. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

At the latest, the SGAC must be completed on arrival, in order for immigration clearance to be processed.

Mask-wearing will also be relaxed

From 13th February 2023, Singapore will also scrap the legal requirement to wear masks in most settings, including on public transport and in some healthcare and residential care venues.

Mask-wearing is currently mandatory on public transport in Singapore, but will become optional from 13th February 2023. (Photo: Shutterstock)

This comes as the country is stepping down its DORSCON level from Orange to Green, while also disbanding its COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.

The only remaining mask-wearing requirements will be maintained by the Ministry of Health, who will continue to require face coverings for visitors, staff and patients in patient-facing areas of hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.


Mask-wearing on flights to and from Singapore was already relaxed in August 2022, with this requirement only applicable either by airline policy, or by the policy of your origin or destination country, meaning some flights to and from the Lion City do still impose this edict.

What about transit passengers?

Transit passengers who are changing to an onward flight at Changi without clearing arrival immigration or leaving the transit area are already not required to be fully vaccinated, since 1st April 2022. They are also exempt from completing the SGAC.

Transit passengers passing through Changi have also been exempt from any pre-departure test requirements, whether fully vaccinated or not, unless their final destination country imposes this requirement.

Those in transit at Changi are already exempt from vaccination and testing requirements, or completion of the SGAC. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

If you have a transit in Singapore and wish to enter the country during your layover (e.g. to visit Jewel, which is in the landside / public area), you must meet the prevailing entry restrictions for Singapore, which includes completion of the SGAC.

Visa requirements

If your passport is issued in one of these 36 countries, you will need a visa to travel to and enter Singapore.

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

Remember, the SG Arrival Card (SGAC), which must be completed by all arriving air passengers, is not a visa.

Further information on obtaining an entry visa is available at the ICA website.


Singapore is returning to to pre-COVID travel protocols, with this removal of pre-departure testing requirements for all travellers, including those who have not been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Travel insurance will also cease to be a requirement for unvaccinated short-term visitors, but the Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC) has now become a permanent requirement for all inbound air travellers, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

Mask wearing in almost all settings, including on public transport, is also being axed across Singapore, though it looks set to remain in sensitive healthcare venues like hospitals for some time to come.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)


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