Features

Visiting Singapore with the VTL

18 Nov 2021 by BusinessTraveller
Drone shot featuring Orchard Road from Ngee Ann City l Courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board

Background

Singapore introduced the Vaccinated Travel lane  (VTL) in August 2021. The VTL programme permits fully-vaccinated customers to travel quarantine-free to Singapore, provided they meet several criteria, and are tested both before departure and after arrival in Singapore

The programme started with Germany, Brunei and Macao, was extended to 14 cities and now has been extended to 21 countries with the addition of India, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

How to apply

As an introductory piece of advice – be prepared and have all your information to hand. As an example, don’t start the process until you know where you are staying since you need this information to complete the online forms. Also, don’t just pick a hotel and hope for availability.  When I was planning this in mid-November for December, many hotels were not available on websites to book and it was not clear whether they were closed or were not available for people flying in from overseas.

Step 1

Make sure you have downloaded the vaccination certificates in print and from the NHS Mobile App.   These need to include the QR code. As the UK app has only 30 days validity, don’t do this too early.

Step 2

Investigate flights. The flight needs to be an approved VTL one. From the UK– one of Singapore Airline’s flights is VTL, with a plan for a second of the three daily flights to be added in December (one of the flights will also be upgraded from a B777 to an A380. British Airways also has a VTL flight to Singapore.

Step 3

Apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP).  This is relatively easy and can be done up from 7 to 60 days prior to your trip.  The pass itself is only valid for 6 days from your chosen date of entry. It requires the uploading of your NHS COVID Pass.  Annoyingly, the NHS pass when downloaded from the NHS app appears with both QR codes on one PDF.  As QR codes need to be uploaded separately you will need to spend some time editing the pdf to split them.

Once this has been done, my approval came through in minutes.  Make sure you print and save a copy for inspection on arrival.

Step 4

There is a requirement to have SG$30,000 of medical insurance to cover if should you become ill with COVID whilst visiting Singapore. Travel insurance is offered from a number of providers and is relatively good value.  My policy was with AIG and cost SG$14.52 for 5 days. Again, print and save a copy

Step 5

Download the Singapore Government’s ‘Trace Together’ App. It is a mandatory requirement to have downloaded it and have it switched on during the duration of your stay. Download before your depart and switch it on when you land in Singapore.

Step 6

Book a PCR arrival test at Changi Airport. You need to set up an account with the Safe Travel Concierge.  The test costs $SG125/£68. Remember you need to isolate at your hotel until you get the result. It can take up to 24 hours.

Step 7

Book and take a pre-departure PCR test within 48 hours of your flight departure from London. Not all providers are approved so double check or go with the one recommended by your airline (often with a discount code).

Step 8

Remember to book your day 2 lateral flow test for your return to the UK. You can do this from Singapore, or do it from here before you set off on your trip.

Step 9

Take a look at the Singapore Governments Safe Travel checklist to make sure you have not missed anything or the rules have changed in the time it takes you to get this far!

Julian Gregory

 

 

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