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Singapore has embarked on plans to open up the economy and live with an endemic Covid-19. — TODAY file pic
Singapore has embarked on plans to open up the economy and live with an endemic Covid-19. — TODAY file pic

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SINGAPORE, Aug 19 — As Singapore embarks on plans to open up the economy and live with an endemic Covid-19, fully vaccinated travellers from Germany and Brunei, as well as all travellers from Hong Kong and Macau, regardless of vaccination status, are no longer required to serve stay-home notice when they arrive here.

This was announced by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) today.

As Germany already allows travellers from Singapore to enter the country without quarantine, the move means that fully vaccinated travellers can travel between both countries without serving any quarantine or stay-home notice.

Short-term visitors from Hong Kong and Macau, irrespective of their vaccination status, can apply now for an Air Travel Pass to enter Singapore from Aug 26.

They have to be in either jurisdiction for at least 21 consecutive days before leaving for Singapore and undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test once they arrive at the airport.

They will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore if their PCR test result is negative and they will not need to serve stay-home notice.

From Aug 21, Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who have spent the last 21 consecutive days in Hong Kong or Macau and returning to Singapore will similarly undergo a PCR test upon arrival.

If the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities here. This is in lieu of a stay-home notice.

And from Sept 8, vaccinated travellers from Brunei and Germany will also be able to enter Singapore without having to serve a stay-home notice, under a new Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangement.

In exchange for not serving a stay-home notice, these travellers would have to undergo at least four PCR tests:

A pre-departure test within 48 hours before their scheduled flight

When they arrive at Changi airport

The third day of their stay in Singapore at a designated clinic

The seventh day of their stay in Singapore

A person will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines, as well as other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing, including those made by Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Separately, the Ministry of Health said that travellers from Germany and Brunei who are not making use of the Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangement will be required to undergo a seven-day stay-home notice when they arrive in Singapore from Aug 21 onwards.

The stay-home notice can be served at their accommodation of choice. Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders may serve their seven-day stay-home notice at their place of residence, if conditions are suitable.

Air travel pass

Currently, only travellers from Brunei and China (except Jiangsu province), New Zealand and Taiwan can apply for the Air Travel Pass to enter Singapore.

Hong Kong and Macau will now be added to the list.

These passes for travellers from Australia and Vietnam have been suspended.

Vaccinated travel lane

Vaccinated travellers from Brunei and Germany entering Singapore from Sept 8 will have no restrictions on the purpose of their travel and they are not required to follow a controlled itinerary or have a sponsor.

But they must be in either country for at least 21 consecutive days before leaving for Singapore, and must travel here on designated flights that serve vaccinated travellers only, and without transiting elsewhere.

Both short-term and long-term visitors must apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass from Sept 1, if they wish to enter Singapore from Sept 8 onwards.

Short-term visitors who require a visa to travel to Singapore must separately obtain that as well. CAAS advised them to apply for the visa only after their Vaccinated Travel Pass has been approved and before they leave for Singapore.

All travellers will have to pre-pay for their PCR tests, which have to be taken on the third and seventh day after their arrival into Singapore.

Their vaccination status will also be checked once they arrive here.

All travellers must also buy travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs before travelling here.

And they must download the TraceTogether mobile application to facilitate contact tracing.

For fully vaccinated Singapore citizens and permanent residents returning from Brunei and Germany, they do not need to apply for the Vaccinated Travel Pass. This is regardless of whether they were vaccinated here or overseas.

For those who were vaccinated here, they can show their vaccination status on the HealthHub app to the airline at check-in before departure for Singapore.

For Singapore citizens and permanent residents who were not vaccinated here, they can present proof of their vaccination taken in their country of departure to the airline at check-in and to the Singapore immigration authorities on arrival at Changi Airport.

Singapore citizens and permanent residents travelling here must also complete the four required PCR tests.

Any traveller that fails to complete the regimen of tests may be served with a stay-home notice and be quarantined in a dedicated facility.

Groups that have children under 12 years old travelling along with them will not be able to participate in this vaccinated travel lane arrangement, said Transport Minister S Iswaran during a media briefing with the Government’s Covid-19 task force today,

This is because children under 12 are not yet allowed to be vaccinated.

However, families with young children can travel on other flights from Germany and apply to serve their stay-home notice from home or at accommodation of their choice, he said.

When asked how authorities ensure that travellers from Germany have remained there for 21 consecutive days given that there are no border controls in the European Union, Iswaran said the travellers have to make a self-declaration that they have spent the last 21 days within Germany when applying for the travel pass.

“That is the basis on which they will be eligible for this vaccinated travel lane and entry into Singapore and all the attendant arrangements and privileges.

“If it is found that they have made a false declaration, then action can be taken against them,” he said.

For example, the Infectious Diseases Act has provisions for false declarations.

However, Iswaran urged everyone to play their part and not see these requirements as something that can be gamed.

This is so that the authorities can know whether this arrangement works and how to mitigate whatever risks that may arise from cross-border travel.

Responsible participation will provide a better chance for the scheme to work and to scale up, he said. — TODAY

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