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Singapore adds Vaccine Travel Lanes to Australia and Switzerland

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Singapore is taking a cautious approach to opening up its borders to international travel and that approach sees it allows select airlines to operate Vaccinate Travel Lanes (VTLs) to and from the state. VTLs to 10 counties are already operating and we already knew that a VTL to South Korea is on the way but Singapore has now also confirmed that Australia and Switzerland will be getting their own VTLs too.

There’s a lot that you need to know if you’re considering visiting Singapore via a VTL so although I’m going to offer a quick overview here, you should make sure you read the article called Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes – Important Information.

Singapore’s VTLs – Key Information

If you want to take up the opportunity of using a VTL and entering Singapore without having to quarantine upon arrival, will have to comply with these key requirements:

  • Travelers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with any vaccine in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Emergency Use List and must be able to provide a vaccination certificate in English issued by Singapore or the VTL country. All vaccination certificates must be digitally certifiable (i.e. contain a QR code for verification).
  • Children aged 12 and below (as of calendar year) are exempted from these vaccination requirements except in the case of travel into South Korea.
  • Travelers on a VTL flight entering Singapore will be required to take two Covid-19 PCR tests – A pre-departure test taken within 48 hours of departure and an on-arrival test at Changi Airport. Infants aged 2 and below (as of calendar year) are exempted from all PCR tests.
  • You have to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) between 7 and 30 days before your intended date of entry into Singapore.
  • In order to be eligible for VTL travel, passengers must not have any travel history outside of Singapore and the VTL countries in the 14 days leading up to their VTL.
  • To qualify for VTL travel to Singapore, short-term visitors must purchase travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 (~US$22,000) for Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalization costs, prior to travel to Singapore.
  • All visitors to Singapore must now use the TraceTogether app during their stay to facilitate contact tracing.

Note: These are just some key facts that you need to know about VTL travel – research VTL travel fully before you make any bookings.

Australia and Switzerland will get VTLs

Flyers from Australia and Switzerland will be able to apply for a Vaccinared Travel Pass from 1 November 2021 and VTLs between Singapore and these countries will open from 8 November 2021.

Switzerland currently provides quarantine and test-free entry to vaccinated travelers from Singapore but there are important rules to know about using a VTL to travel to Australia:

“A pre-departure PCR test is to be taken 72 hours prior to the flight. Please note that entry into Australia is currently restricted to Australian citizens or permanent residents and their immediate families, as well as foreign nationals who hold a valid visa and a travel restriction exemption. Travellers are advised to check the entry requirements before booking their flights.”

Importantly, because the Australian government has yet to open up its borders to anyone other than those covered by the categories mentioned above, the Australian VTLs are currently only operating in one direction (from Australia to Singapore).

In further good news for Australians, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that the government ban on overseas travel (which has been in place since March 2020) will be lifted for fully vaccinated Australians on Monday 1 November 2021 (the same date that both NSW and Victoria will be removing their requirements for fully vaccinated visitors to quarantine).

Australia VTL flights

Singapore Airlines has already confirmed its Australia VTL flights and they are as follows:

Melbourne – Singapore

Sydney – Singapore

Note the return of the Singapore Airlines A380!

At the time of writing, Qantas has not confirmed if it will operate a VTL flight (or if it will be allowed to operate a VTL flight) but with the airline planning to restart two routes to Singapore from 22/23 November…

  • Melbourne – Singapore commencing 22 November 2021 – 3x/week A330-300 (Thu, Fri & Sun) then daily from 18 Dec.
  • Sydney – Singapore commencing 23 November 2021 – 3x/week A330-300 (Thu, Fri & Sun)

…there’s a possibility that we will see more VTL flights added in due course.

Switzerland VTL flights

Singapore Airlines has confirmed that its VTL flights to/from Switzerland will be as follows:

SQ346 SIN 01:30 – 07:50 ZRH (Daily)
SQ345 ZRH 10:35 – 06:00+1 day SIN (Daily)

The airline says that it will operate this route with an Airbus A350-900 and that this information is correct for travel between 8 November 2021 and 26 March 2022.

SWISS currently operates 3x/week between Zurich and Singapore but I cannot find any information confirming whether or not this flight will be classified as a VTL flight.

Bottom Line

Singapore has confirmed it will open up Vaccinated Travel Lanes with Australia and Switzerland from 8 November and that applications for VTL travel from those destinations will be opened up from 8 November 2021.

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