Singapore eases COVID-19 travel restrictions

The country will no longer require vaccinated passengers from Germany and Brunei to quarantine.

Singapore will establish vaccination travel lanes with Germany and Brunei, allowing vaccinated passengers from those countries to fly to the island nation without quarantine. 

The scheme will commence on Sept. 8. Singapore (SIN) is also extending its Air Travel Pass (ATP) system to passengers coming from Hong Kong and Macau.

Passengers using the vaccination travel lanes must be tested for COVID-19 pre-departure and on-arrival in Singapore, but they will not have to quarantine. They must also travel on certain nonstop flights and go for tests on the third and seventh day of their stay in Singapore at designated clinics.

Singapore Airlines has identified 3X- and 2X-weekly flights to Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) respectively suitable for the scheme.

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Meanwhile, from Aug. 26 passengers from Hong Kong (HKG) and Macau (MFM) can enter Singapore under the ATP system, joining China (excluding Jiangsu province), New Zealand and Taiwan. Unlike the vaccination travel lanes, ATP allows entry for those who are unvaccinated. 

Singapore is unilaterally starting the HKG-SIN ATP while Hong Kong is reducing quarantine duration for Singaporean passengers. 

IATA deputy DG Conrad Clifford welcomed the moves by Singapore, saying it will help the recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors in the Asia-Pacific region. 

“A lot more is known today about COVID-19. Unfortunately many states in Asia-Pacific continue to adopt a risk adverse zero-COVID approach, and continue to shut their borders. This is not sustainable and is detrimental to both their economies and their populations," he said. “A data-driven approach using vaccination and testing can manage the risk of COVID-19 when reopening borders to international travel. Singapore has shown leadership in demonstrating that it is safe to reopen international travel without quarantine.” Clifford urged other governments to take a similar stand. 

Photo credit: Changi Airport Group