Singapore plans to expand Vaccinated Travel Lane to more countries in the coming weeks

More borders are expected to open soon to those who are fully vaccinated.

Nur Sabrina

Needs her space organised and clean 24/7.

Published: 21 September 2021, 2:05 PM

Singapore will soon allow fully vaccinated travellers from more countries to enter its borders with no quarantine requirements needed.

The announcement was made by Transport Minister S Iswaran on Monday (Sep 20) following a successful start to the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).

Of the over 900 travellers who arrived in Singapore via the VTL scheme, only one case of COVID-19 has been reported. The patient was detected on arrival and has since been in quarantine. 

“What it basically tells us is that the system is working and we are gaining confidence with it. And I think that’s an important prerequisite before we think about scaling to other countries,” said Mr Iswaran.

Singapore started its VTL scheme with Brunei and Germany on Sep 8. Fully vaccinated travellers from both countries are allowed to enter Singapore without having to quarantine. 

Instead of serving quarantine, travellers departing from Germany and Brunei are required to undergo four polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests before and during their stay in Singapore.

This allows COVID-19 cases to be detected as early as possible. 

The VTL scheme has received over 2,500 applications since its launch earlier this month. 

Under the VTL scheme, authorities have taken appropriate measures to ensure that the borders are opened safely. All 900 travellers who arrived in Singapore under the arrangement have also adhered to the testing protocols.

However, Mr Iswaran said he was unable to provide a specific timeline with regard to Singapore’s border reopening plans.

Singapore needs to evaluate the public health risk of the country, which includes identifying the COVID-19 incidence rate, vaccination rate and testing regime there.

In addition, it must also take into account “operational” factors – such as the steps involved in authenticating travellers’ vaccination records, as well as ensuring that travellers perform the necessary tests before and after their arrival in Singapore.

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