As Transport Minister S Iswaran has previously promised, the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) are expanding to more countries and going further.
Besides including more cities for countries with pre-existing VTLs, the quarantine-free arrangement is extending towards Vietnam and Greece as well.
VTLs within the Asia Region
Starting from 16 March, the VTL for Malaysia will be extending beyond Kuala Lumpur to include Penang, with four daily flights going to and from.
Likewise, there will be flights going to and from Bali-Denpasar, Indonesia, besides the capital city of Jakarta, starting with two daily flights.
In one of the largest moves from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), the VTL for India will no longer be restricted to just Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.
Instead, the VTL for India will be expanded to include all Indian cities.
New VTL with Vietnam
Given that Vietnam is intending to re-open its borders for international tourism from 15 March, the VTL for Vietnam is likely to begin on or after 16 March.
CAAS added, “With the launch of the VTL from Vietnam, we will restore two-way quarantine free travel with Vietnam, which was a popular destination for many Singaporeans pre-COVID.”
Applications for Vaccination Travel Passes (VTP) for Vietnam will open on 13 March at 10am.
Short-term visitors and work permit holders allowed to travel on the VTL must apply for a VTP to enter Singapore under the VTL.
However, fully vaccinated Singaporeans, Permanent Residents (PR), long-term pass holders and In-Principle Approval (IPA) don’t need to apply for a VTP to enter Singapore by VTL.
New VTL with Greece
While there is only one VTL going towards the European continent, heading towards Greece starting from 16 March, the reality is that it extends to the entire European Economic Area (EEA).
The EEA comprises the 27 European Union member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Owing to one of the European Union’s fundamental and founding principles of allowing free movement of persons and trade between the countries, people can travel across the borders of the European countries freely.
Therefore, any traveller who has spent the last seven consecutive days in the EEA (including any transit stops) before their departure to Singapore, has fulfilled their seven-day VTL travel history requirement and can apply for VTPs and make use of the VTL.
Densifying VTL Travellers
Ever since Singapore established VTLs with more 40 countries and regions in September last year, it has received more than 450,000 travellers.
According to the statistics released by CAAS, 348,518 VTPs have been issued thus far to travellers from the aforesaid countries to enter Singapore between 8 September 2021 and 6 March 2022.
A grand total of 456,215 VTL travellers have stepped foot into Singapore:
- Short-term travellers: 132,099
- Long-term and IPA pass holders: 119,289
- Singaporeans and PRs: 167,380
- Children below 12 years old: 37,447
CAAS opines that the expansion of VTLs will facilitate more travelling and increase Singapore’s air hub connectivity with important markets.
“As the global COVID-19 situation evolves, CAAS will continue to monitor the public health situation closely and stand ready to adjust our border measures with the appropriate safeguards quickly to ensure public health and safety,” CAAS writes.
“This will enable us to transition safely and confidently towards a COVID-19 resilient nation.”
However, to ensure the health and safety of all passengers, and to reduce any interruptions or delays, please make sure to abide by the safety protocols before departure and upon arrival to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission and number of imported cases.
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