SINGAPORE — Vaccinated vacationers will be capable of fly into Singapore from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with out quarantine starting subsequent Friday (Feb 25), following an enlargement within the Vaccinated Journey Lane (VTL) scheme.
Vaccinated vacationers will quickly additionally be capable of fly into Singapore from all cities in Thailand with out quarantine.
From March 4, Singapore will even begin VTLs for Israel and Philippines to ascertain two-way quarantine-free journey with these two international locations.
These adjustments come as Singapore pivots its border management measures to making sure that guests to the Republic are effectively shielded from COVID-19 in order that they don’t burden the healthcare system ought to they get contaminated right here, Well being Minister Ong Ye Kung mentioned on Wednesday (Feb 16).
Transport Minister S. Iswaran famous that with larger certainty over the character of the Omicron variant and its related dangers, you will need to resume the reopening of borders, and reclaim Singapore’s place as a world enterprise and aviation hub.
“Our final aim is quarantine-free journey for all vaccinated vacationers,” he mentioned at a press convention.
Extra folks will likely be allowed to enter Singapore beneath the quarantine-free journey scheme as effectively, with the Authorities progressively lifting a 50 per cent cap on the variety of VTL vacationers that had been in place since December.
From subsequent Tuesday (Feb 22), VTL vacationers and people from international locations and locations deemed to be of low Covid-19 threat, will be capable of take a supervised antigen speedy check (ART) inside 24 hours of their arrival. This replaces the on-arrival polymerase chain response check at Changi Airport that vacationers presently must take.
VTL vacationers will even now not must bear a seven-day self-supervised ART testing regime after arrival.
The strikes, introduced by the multi-ministry process power dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday (Feb 16), successfully finish a three-month pause within the reopening of Singapore’s borders.
They’re additionally the primary steps in Singapore’s transfer in the direction of opening as much as all vaccinated vacationers.
The lone tightening of border restriction is with Hong Kong, as Singapore will cease its unilateral opening association with town following the Well being Ministry’s evaluation of the general public well being state of affairs there.
Functions for quarantine-free entry for Hong Kong vacationers into Singapore will stop from Feb 17. As an alternative, a brand new VTL will likely be began for Hong Kong from Feb 25. The transfer signifies that solely vaccinated vacationers from Hong Kong can enter Singapore with out quarantine, versus all vacationers.
The VTLs with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had been supposed to start out in early December, however they had been deferred owing to their proximity to international locations which skilled the preliminary waves of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Vacationers from these three international locations can apply for the move to faucet the VTLs to enter Singapore from 10am on Feb 22.
Mr. Ong mentioned on the press convention that imported infections at the moment are at about 1 per cent of the whole case depend each day, and thus haven’t any vital affect on Singapore’s epidemic state of affairs.
As an alternative of VTLs with chosen international locations, Singapore ought to transition in the direction of opening up for all vaccinated vacationers, he added. As an alternative of an abrupt change, Singapore will take step one now by simplifying the present border restrictions for non-VTL vacationers.
The Authorities will introduce a brand new Common Journey class, which is able to change the prevailing Class II, III and IV in Singapore’s border threat classification system.
Which means that international locations will likely be grouped into three distinct teams when it comes to border restrictions.
The primary is Class 1 international locations and areas deemed to be of lowest threat of COVID-19 infections.
The second is a Common Journey class consisting of nations that Singapore has began VTLs for, along with non-VTL international locations and areas. VTL vacationers from international locations on this class can take pleasure in quarantine-free journey, whereas these from non-VTL international locations must bear a 7-day Keep-House Discover.
The third is a brand new restricted class which is able to embrace international locations that warrant stricter border measures owing to growing Covid-19 conditions. There will likely be no new restricted international locations/ areas on this class for a begin.
In tandem, the Authorities will even simplify border measures for vacationers arriving from 11.59pm on Feb 21:
a. Journey historical past requirement will likely be lowered from 14 to seven days
b. Keep-home discover length will likely be standardized to seven days throughout all nation/area classes in view of Omicron’s shorter incubation interval;
c. Enhanced testing regime for vacationers arriving on VTLs will stop;
d. VTL and Class I vacationers will now not must carry out an on-arrival PCR est. As an alternative, they’ll have as much as 24 hours from their entry into Singapore to take a supervised self-swab ART at one of many testing facilities positioned throughout Singapore;
e. Vaccinated Lengthy-Time period Go Holders will now not must receive a Vaccinated Journey Go (VTP) or an Entry Approval to enter Singapore. They may nonetheless want to stick to frame well being measures on entry.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) mentioned on Wednesday that in tandem with the opposite changes to journey measures, CAAS will even be eradicating the pre-departure check necessities for all passengers transferring or transiting via Singapore.
This may assist cut back price, enhance comfort and improve Singapore’s attractiveness as a switch/transit hub, it mentioned.The adjustments will apply to all flights arriving in Singapore from 11.59pm on Feb 21.
As at 11.59pm on Tuesday, Singapore has established VTLs with 24 international locations, CAAS added.
A complete of 389,046 vacationers have entered Singapore through the VTLs. They comprise 109,325 short-term guests, 99,259 long-term move holders, 146,081 Singapore residents and everlasting residents and 34,381 youngsters aged 12 years and beneath.
Greater than 337,000 Vaccinated Journey Passes have been issued to short-term guests and long- time period move holders for entry into Singapore between Sept 8 final 12 months and Tuesday (Feb 15).
Singapore dedicated to reopening economic system, borders to remainder of the world
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