Good news for Filipino travelers who miss Singapore’s attractions, food, and shopping bargains in the past two years. Singapore is now easing its border restrictions to countries with low COVID-19 risk, according to its government’s SafeTravel website (safetravel.ica.gov.sg).
In a statement online posted on Feb. 17, 2022, it said: “The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will restore and extend the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) and put back on track its plans to reopen Singapore’s borders safely and reclaim Singapore’s position as a global air hub.”
Among the countries included in its VTL is the Philippines: “CAAS will launch new VTLs for Israel and the Philippines to establish two-way quarantine-free travel with them. Travelers from these countries may enter Singapore under the VTL on or after 4 March 2022. Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) applications for these countries will open on 1 March 2022 at 1000 hours Singapore time.”
Those interested to visit Singapore must first apply online for a VTP. The website is very user-friendly and allows you to check back if your application was approved. For a smooth application, ensure that you have a valid passport, proof of vaccination, and an address where you plan to stay in Singapore.
If you’re unvaccinated, then say bye-bye to Singapore: “Unvaccinated short-term visitors will not be allowed to travel to Singapore.”
But before you hop on the next flight to Singapore, hold on! Although there is no quarantine required from countries included in the VTLs, there is a test that you have to undergo within 24 hours upon arrival.
“VTL travelers will no longer need to perform an on-arrival PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test at Changi Airport. Instead, they will have up to 24 hours from their entry into Singapore to take a supervised self-swab (SSS) Antigen Rapid Test (ART) at one of the testing centers located across Singapore. This change effected by the Ministry of Health (MOH) will reduce testing costs for travelers and enhance the traveler experience when visiting Singapore.”
Travelers, the website advised, should visit Quick Test Centers (QTCs) or Combined Test Centers (CTCs) for their SSS ART. “The weblink to book a test at a QTC or CTC will be provided in the Testing Notice issued to travelers on arrival in Singapore. Except for going for the SSS, travelers are required to isolate in their accommodation until they have tested negative on the supervised ART. They should take private transport to/from the QTCs or CTCs. Travelers who feel unwell should visit a clinic for medical advice via private transport.”
Faster (ASAP results), cheaper (no need for the expensive PCR test), and absolutely no quarantine (when you pass the SSS antigen rapid test)! So for those who are vaccinated (and boosted), get ready on March 1 as you apply for the VTPs online. And as soon as you’re approved, book your plane tickets, then welcome your summer in sizzling (and safe) Singapore.