As of 31 March, there are no more VTLs
With the launch of the new Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL), the skies are now open and more welcoming for travellers who are fully vaccinated with no need to quarantine on arrival in Singapore. Countries with VTL lanes include Dubai, North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
We took our first trip since the pandemic hit in 2020. Here are some of the things you can expect when travelling via plane in 2022.
Do note that each country has its own restrictions that are subject to change, and travellers should do research to ensure that they have all the necessary documents specific for entering each country.
Pre Departure from Singapore
The best website that travellers should visit first is the ICA website here.
On this page, travellers intending to depart from Singapore can find information on departure advisories and requirements. Depending on the country, one might also have to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 test in Singapore for overseas, a digitally authenticated pre-departure COVID-19 test result and a digitally authenticated vaccination certificate.
Many of these should be prepared at least a week before the trip and also be printed out in hardcopy. As we were travelling to Dubai, one of the documents we needed was a Digitally Authenticated Vaccination Certificate. This was easily obtained by following the instructions at the link here. As this is a cert that will most likely be needed to be shown to customs, we advice getting it printed in hardcopy.
Travellers who are required by their destination country/region to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test must book an appointment with any clinic found on this list. Travellers should check with the clinics on the expected turnaround time for their test reports and allocate sufficient lead time when scheduling a test appointment. On the day of the test, travellers should bring their Identity card, Passport and Flight booking details showing the departure timing. We also recommend getting the results printed out in hard copy.
We also recommend checking the travel regulations of the country you are intending to visit to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Travelling in via plane in 2022
We were a little nervous getting on a plane after not travelling for a while, and it was interesting to see how things changed. One significant change was how travellers now have to “pull down their masks” during any virtual or in-person face identification checks.
The rest of the check-in process was pretty similar to what we remembered, and if anything, we were pleasantly surprised by how empty the plane was. Perhaps, other than the cheaper flight tickets, this is one perk that travellers at this point can benefit from.
Upon arrival, we didn’t need to do any form of quarantine and headed straight to our accommodation. It was very surreal finding ourselves in a different country and enjoying various new sights. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Museum of the Future.
Post Arrival in Singapore
When it was time to head back to Singapore, one of the things that we needed to do 48 hours before the flight was to do a PCR test at an approved clinic. We recommend checking the list of approved PCR sites on the country of visit’s local sites and factoring the necessary time into your itinerary. Do ensure that you give sufficient time for the test results to be sent over, and not do it a few hours before your flight.
Another form that needs to be completed and shown during check-in is an ICA arrival declaration form. The link to the form can be found here. Do ensure to save the PDF file as that will be the file necessary to show to the officer. We had to do it on a laptop to access our PDF file.
The rest of the forms such as the Vaccination Certificate would be the same as the one prepared during departure.
We also highly recommend ensuring that the flight that you take back is a VTL flight so that you need not unnecessarily serve a Stay Home Notice (and take another uncomfortable PCR test).
When landing in Singapore, there are large signs with the three simple steps that travellers should follow: clear arrival immigration, collect bags and leave the airport. Travellers from Low infection areas and on vaccinated travel lanes can take their self swab ART test and submit their results within 24 hours upon arrival in Singapore.
Other travellers will have to serve their mandatory stay home notice. More details will be found in their email.
Although travelling looks a little different now, we hope that the ongoing travel restrictions will be able to lift even more in due time so that more of us will be able to explore and see the world again.