With about 83% of the population fully vaccinated, Singapore is better placed to open the economy further. As of 8 September 2021, the Government will be opening the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) for selected countries. Currently, the list only includes Brunei and Germany.
Since the start of COVID-19, borders’ controls have tightened, and international travels are limited. Depending on where you are travelling to, most countries would require a quarantine period of at least 14 days.
Apart from COVID-19 testing, the quarantine period of at least 14 days can be a safeguard to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19. However, this safeguard has been one of the main deterring factors for travellers, especially for tourists. Serving the quarantine is not only inconvenient but can also result in additional costs. In Singapore, the 14 days Stay Home Notice (SHN) for one adult can cost $2,000. Additionally, most of us only have about 14 days of annual leave which would be consumed by this safeguard.
With Vaccinated Travel Lanes, we now have the option to travel without the need to quarantine.
Things To Note About Vaccinated Travel Lanes
VTLs are open to individuals that have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or World Health Organisation (WHO) Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) approved vaccines. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) can return to Singapore from selected destinations without the need for extended quarantine if they do not test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival. The current countries on the list are Brunei and Germany.
Eligible Singaporeans and PRs do not need to apply for a VTL pass. However, they will have to travel on VTL designated flights. Currently, Singapore Airlines offer VTL flights from Brunei, Frankfurt, and Munich. Other airlines such as Royal Brunei Airlines and Lufthansa also offer VTL flights. For flight tickets, do check on the respective airlines for prices and availability.
Before we start booking the next flight out of Singapore, VTLs do require specific testing and documentation. Here are the relevant costs we can incur apart from flight tickets.
|Cost For Vaccinated Travel Lane Test||Brunei||Germany|
|Pre-Departure PCR Test Cost||$50||~$110 (Based on EUR$69)|
|Arrival PCR Test Cost||$160||$160|
|Private Transportation Cost||~$25||~$25|
|Self-isolation till confirmed Negative Arrival PCR Test (About 24 hours)||Residential – Free
Non – Residential – ~$150
|Residential – Free
Non – Residential – ~$150
|Day 3 and Day 7 PCR Test||~$400||~$400|
|Total Cost (Residential Self-isolation)||~$636||~$695|
|Total Cost (Non – Residential Self-isolation)||~$785||~$845|
Pre-Departure PCR Test Cost
Before your VTL flight back to Singapore, you have to prepare two documentations. First, submit your health declaration – SG Arrival Card no earlier than 3 days before the flight. Second, take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours of your flight. Since the PCR test is done overseas (Brunei or Germany), it is important to note that only results from internationally accredited medical facilities are accepted. These providers are approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH) or the respective departure countries’ Department/Ministry of Health. Self- administered PCR tests are not allowed.
The test certificate has to be produced in English and must have the date and time the test was taken, the name of the testing facility, your name, personal identifiers and a negative COVID-19 result. Most of these PCR testing would require prior booking so do check with the respective providers.
Based on Brunei’s MOH website, the cost of taking a pre-departure PCR test is $50.
For your pre-departure PCR test in Germany, the cost of your PCR test would vary on the clinic and the number of hours required for the test results. The shorter the testing timing, the more expensive the testing cost will be.
Based on Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health, most clinics and public hospitals are approved providers of PCR testing. Do check with the individual providers for their respective prices. Travellers can also take the PCR test at the airport in Frankfurt and Munich.
Currently, the PCR test provider at Frankfurt Airport is CENTOGENE. Their test center is located between the pedestrian bridge connecting Terminal 1 and the long-distance train station. They also offer the option of a Drive-Through Test Center where you can take the PCR test in a drive-through. The price ranges from EUR$69 to EUR$199 depending on the result time.
For Munich Airport, travellers can take their test at MediCare or Terminal 1 Test Center. The cost of a PCR test with MediCare is EUR$184.44. Additionally, the cost of PCR testing at Terminal 1 ranges from EUR$69 to EUR$239.
Arrival PCR Test Cost
Before boarding the plane, Singaporeans and PRs are also required to book and pay for their arrival PCR test slots. Upon arrival at Singapore Changi Airport, all travellers will have to take the arrival PCR test. Each test costs S$160 (including GST).
Private Transportation Cost
Upon arrival, all travellers must self-isolate until their on-arrival PCR test is declared negative. Travellers have to make their way immediately to their declared self-isolation location. You can arrange for private transportation, either with your personal vehicle, taxi or a private hire car.
Upon boarding our private transport, we are encouraged to sit in the back seat with all windows wound down (if possible). Depending on your quarantine location, the cost of the ride can cost about $25.
Arrival One Day Self Isolation Cost
Travellers that choose to self-isolate at their residences must ensure that their residence meets the eligibility for self-isolation. This means being isolated from other occupants with an en-suite toilet.
Those that are planning to isolate themselves in a hotel or service apartment can choose to book any location that fits the requirement of self-isolation. We can also refer to the list of en-suite rooms on the Singapore’s Hotel Association. The price for one night at a 3.5 star hotel typically costs $150.
Day 3 and Day 7 PCR Test Cost
After receiving a negative result from your arrival PCR test, you would be exempted from serving the extended quarantine. However, even as you proceed with your daily routine, there are still two precautionary PCR tests to take on Day 3 and Day 7 from arrival. These PCR tests are done at the designated providers which will be emailed to you on your arrival. These testing generally should not exceed $200.
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