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Travelling In A COVID-19 World: Where Can People In Singapore Actually Travel To?

Border restrictions apply both ways. Just because our government allows Singaporeans to travel overseas doesn’t mean that these countries have opened their borders to us.


This article was originally published on 2 September 2020 and updated with new information on 30 September 2020.

With the Singapore government having eased border restrictions and establishing some green lane arrangements with other countries, a small amount of travelling is starting to be permitted. However, before you rush to book your plane ticket and plan your next business or holiday trip, be aware that the border restrictions apply both ways.

Just because Singapore has relaxed our border restrictions, it doesn’t mean that other countries have eased their restrictions on travellers from Singapore.

Here’s a guide to countries you can travel to and under what conditions. Information is accurate as of 30 September 2020.

Read Also:  Who Pays For Your COVID-19 Testing And Treatment? 5 Things You Need To Know Before Travelling Out Of Singapore

Countries That You Can Travel To Under Permitted Travel Arrangements

It is important to note that you are only eligible to tap on Singapore’s healthcare financing arrangements (MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans) for inpatient COVID-19 treatment in the event of contracting COVID-19 if you travel under permitted travel arrangements to selected countries.

Currently, these countries are Australia (excluding the state of Victoria), Brunei, China, JapanMacao SAR, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

If you travel to any other countries besides those listed above, you would need to bear the cost of any COVID-19 treatment, your Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) stay at Designated Facilities and COVID-19 swab tests upon your return.

However, before you get excited and book an overseas flight to one of these permittable countries, do note that just because the Singapore government has allowed people in Singapore to travel to these countries, doesn’t mean that these countries have opened up its borders to overseas travellers.

The list below is a summary of the current border restrictions in places by countries that the Singapore government has permitted travel to. Information is accurate as of 30 September 2020.

If You Want to Travel To: Can You Travel There?
(country’s border controls)
Can You Return To Singapore?
(Singapore’s border controls)
Can You Travel There For Vacation?
Australia (except the state of Victoria) Borders are closed, except for citizens, PRs, immediate family and select groups. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 7-day SHN and COVID-19 swab test. No.
Brunei Borders are closed except for citizens and PRs. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to COVID-19 swab test. No.
Singapore has opened general travel with Brunei, meaning Bruneians may freely enter Singapore, including for tourism purposes.
China Borders are closed to foreign nationals holding valid visas or residence permits issued before 28 March 2020. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 7-day SHN and COVID-19 swab test. No.
Work travel is permitted under Green/ Fast Lane arrangements
Japan Borders are closed to foreign nationals foreign nationals, including Singaporeans. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 14-day SHN at Designated Facilities and COVID-19 swab test. No.
Work travel is permitted under Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL)
Macao SAR Borders are closed to foreign nationals holding valid visas or residence permits issued before 28 March 2020. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 7-day SHN and COVID-19 swab test. No.
Malaysia Singaporeans are currently not allowed to enter Malaysia on social visit passes. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 7-day SHN and COVID-19 swab test.

 

No.
Work travel is permitted under Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA)
New Zealand Borders are closed, except for citizens, PRs, immediate family and select groups. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to COVID-19 swab test. No.
Singapore has opened general travel with New Zealand, meaning New Zealanders may freely enter Singapore, including for tourism purposes.
South Korea Suspension of visa-free entry and visa-waiver for 90 countries including Singapore. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 14-day SHN at Designated Facilities and COVID-19 swab test. No.

 

Taiwan Social visits and tourism are not permitted Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 7-day SHN and COVID-19 swab test. No.
Vietnam Suspension of entry of all foreigners and overseas Vietnamese via commercial flights into Vietnam. Allowed to enter Singapore, subject to 7-day SHN and COVID-19 swab test. No.

Source: MFA and countries’ immigration websites.

 

Read Also: 5 Reasons Why Booking Your Post COVID-19 Vacation Today Is A Bad Idea

Travel Overseas At Your Own Risk

In general, travelling overseas is still limited and most countries’ borders remain closed. While some business and official travel are permitted, social visits and tourism are still not allowed.

While having a good travel insurance plan and medical coverage is important, most insurers would not cover travelling that goes against prevailing travel advisories. As such, you are travelling at your own risk especially to countries outside of the abovementioned list.

Read Also: 5 Things I Learnt About Buying Travel Insurance Because Of The Global COVID-19 Situation