S’pore simplifies border measures for more Southeast Asian countries; new VTL was launched with Finland and Sweden, Singapore News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Passengers arriving from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines are among those who will see more relaxed border measures from November 11, Singapore authorities announced on Monday (November 8).
Travelers from these countries will be allowed to present a negative, professionally administered antigen rapid test (ART) taken within two days of departure to Singapore.
It is an alternative to the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests currently required.
The government also announced on Monday that 23 countries previously considered by Singapore to have the highest risk of Covid-19 infections, including Laos and India, will have more border restrictions eased.
From 11 November, travelers from these countries will be allowed to give a 10-day notice of stay at home (SHN) at home or at a hotel of their choice. They are currently required to do so at an SHN dedicated facility.
Singapore will also add three new vaccinated itineraries (VTL), with Malaysia, Sweden and Finland, and increase the daily quota to 6,000 passengers in total from 29 November. The current daily quota is 4,000 travelers.
VTL travelers will also be able to present a professionally administered negative ART test before flying to Singapore.
Vaccinated passengers will be able to take flights between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport without quarantine from 29 November.
There will initially be six designated flights for quarantine-free travel between the countries. Applications for the program begin on November 22.
Travelers from Sweden and Finland can also apply for VTL travel from the same date, for quarantine-free travel from 29 November. Both Sweden and Finland already allow entry for people traveling from Singapore.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, co-chair of the working group on several ministries dealing with the pandemic, said that despite increasing cases in Europe, the frequency of infections there is “not out of control” and remains lower than Singapore’s 46 cases per 100,000 people.
Denmark and Germany see about 28 cases per 100,000 people and in Spain the figure is less than five per 100,000.
Transport Minister S. Iswaran said Singapore’s VTL experience so far has given it confidence to further expand the program.
He pointed out that on November 7, nearly 18,000 people entered Singapore via the VTL system. Of these, 17 have tested positive – about one in 1,000.
“We will reopen in a careful and calibrated manner, with the necessary safeguards to protect public health,” he said.
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