With more than 80% of the population fully vaccinated, Singapore is better placed to open the economy further. The Government has opened the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) with Brunei and Germany on 8 September 2021. About 2,000 Vaccinated Travel Pass holders have entered Singapore since the opening of the VTL. Following this success, more countries will be added to the VTL travel arrangements, including US and UK, as announced on 9 October 2021.
With Vaccinated Travel Lanes, we now have the option to travel without the need to quarantine. This reduces a major deterrent of travelling during the pandemic as serving the quarantine is not only inconvenient but can also result in additional costs. In Singapore, the 10 days Stay Home Notice (SHN) for one adult will cost $1,450 or $950 for two adults at a dedicated facility. Additionally, most of us only have about 14 days of annual leave which would be consumed by this safeguard.
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, with Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States to start on 19 October 2021 and South Korea on 15 November 2021.
In order to prove your vaccination status overseas, you can request for a digital vaccination certificate from Notαrise. This will be sent to your email and/or Singpass app, and can also be printed out. The use of this digital vaccination certificate is subject to the prevailing entry requirements of your destination country.
Eligible Singaporeans and PRs do not need to apply for a VTL pass. However, they will have to travel on VTL designated flights. These are the designated airlines for VTL flights. For flight tickets, do check on the respective airlines for prices and availability.
|Country/Region of Departure||Airlines|
|Brunei Darussalam||Royal Brunei Airlines|
|Netherlands||KLM Royal Dutch Airlines|
|Republic of Korea||Asiana Airlines|
|United Kingdom||British Airways|
|United States||Singapore Airlines|
Additionally, unvaccinated children aged 12 and below will be allowed to travel via VTL and need not apply for a vaccinated travel pass. However, they must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated traveller who meets all the VTL requirements and must be a Singaporean, PR, long-term pass holder or short-term visitor. Children aged 2 and below would not have to undergo the pre-departure and on-arrival PCR tests but children above 2 years old must test negative on the PCR tests to travel via VTL.
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|
|Pre-Departure PCR Test Cost||Dependent on country of departure, usually ranges from $100 to $200|
|Arrival PCR Test Cost||$160|
|Private Transportation Cost||~$25|
|Self-isolation till confirmed Negative Arrival PCR Test (About 24 hours)||Residential – Free|
|Day 3 and Day 7 PCR Test||removed from 19 Oct|
|Total Cost (Excluding Pre-Departure PCR Cost)||~$185 (from 19 Oct)|
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, 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. This requirement is removed for VTLs starting from 19 October 2021.
This article was originally published on 9 September 2021 and updated with new information. Additional reporting by Angela Koo.
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