Singapore To Lift Travel Restrictions & Simplify VTL Framework For Vaccinated Travellers
As the Omicron wave subsides, Singapore will be lifting most of its travel restrictions, marking a significant step towards living with Covid-19.
This would allow Singaporeans to travel abroad “almost like before Covid-19” and allow our nation to reconnect to the world.
Singapore to lift travel restrictions from 11.59pm on 31 Mar
During a national address on Thursday (24 Mar), PM Lee announced that travel restrictions would be eased substantially from 11.59pm on 31 Mar. The decision was made after the Omicron situation has come under control.
Transport Minister S Iswaran, who gave further details during the Multi-Ministry Task Force press conference, said vaccinated visitors would not have to apply for a vaccinated travel pass before entering Singapore.
There will also be no differentiation between VTL flights and ferries — vaccinated visitors can arrive via any flight or ferry and not be required to undergo quarantine.
Additionally, the rule requiring visitors to take an ART within 24 hours of arrival will also be scrapped.
However, visitors who arrive via air or sea will still have to submit a negative ART within 48 hours of departing for Singapore.
The authorities will monitor the Covid-19 situation locally and overseas, and may consider removing this measure in the coming weeks.
Imported infections account for a small proportion of cases
During his national address earlier, PM Lee said Singaporeans would be able to travel overseas almost like before Covid-19, reconnecting our nation to the world.
This will also come as good news for businesses, especially the tourism industry. Most importantly, he said the move would allow Singapore to reclaim its position as a business and aviation hub.
“Earlier, we were cautious because of uncertainty over Omicron’s impact. Now, the Omicron situation is well under control.
“Nearly all our cases are domestic, originating within our community. Arrivals from abroad constitute only a small variety of cases. We can, therefore, safely open our borders,” he said.
However, PM Lee said the drastic changes to domestic and cross-border changes “stop short” of a complete opening. After this major step, Singapore would wait a while to let the situation stabilise.
If all goes well, we may ease up further. But we should also be psychologically prepared for more twists & turns ahead.
“With more interactions, we may see another wave of cases. And Omicron will not be the last variant we encounter. Hopefully, new variants will become progressively milder and flu-like,” he stressed.
Good news for travel-deprived Singaporeans
The easing of border restrictions will undoubtedly be good news for travel-deprived Singaporeans who can’t wait to take a proper break.
As such measures are done away with, we hope the Covid-19 situation in Singapore remains under control and our healthcare system will stay resilient and sustainable.
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Featured image by MS News.