Singapore has been a fascinating country to watch as the world returns to travel.
It was among the first in Asia to declare that the world must learn to live with Covid-19; and a short while later, among the first in Asia to reopen to outside visitors, albeit with heavy restrictions.
A series of minor tweaks followed on from these initial opening plans, but visitors are still required to fill out a variety of forms in addition to testing. And on the ground, the experience wasn’t quite what it once was, with mandatory masks outdoors.
Come April 1st, that’s all changing. Singapore will simplify its travel restrictions once again, and will drop outdoor masking requirements. This hot, steamy and wonderful country is opening up, so here’s what to expect.
For a start, there’s no more arrival testing!
Singapore Eases Covid-19 Restrictions On April 1st
On April 1st, Singapore will ease travel restrictions and domestic protocols for dealing with Covid-19. The key changes will be an end of outdoor mask requirements and the simplification of the pre-travel process. And a big one: no more post arrival tests.
Currently, visitors hoping to avoid quarantine upon arrival into Singapore are required to travel on “VTL” flights, which are vaccinated travel lanes.
From April 1st, all visitors who are fully vaccinated will be able to skip quarantine when arriving on any flights, rather than just “VTL” flights. Pick a flight, bring your proof of vaccination and go.
No More Arrival Tests
Pre-departure tests will still be required, for now, but all arrival testing will be dropped. The pre-departure test can be taken within the 2 days prior to travel and can be a PCR or antigen test, as long as its professionally administered.
Arrival testing was a key concern stymying travelers who couldn’t risk being locked up in quarantine for days, despite testing negative before departure. From April 1st, if you are fully vaccinated and test negative prior to departure, it’s that simple. Yay!
Additionally, and crucially for families, children under 12 will no longer need to present pre-travel forms or proof of vaccination and unvaccinated children under the age of 12 will be able to enter the country, without any testing on arrival.
Finally, no more visitor forms. From April 1st, visitors won’t be required to obtain a “VTP” travel pass. People who were previously eligible to enter Singapore visa free, or with visa on arrival will be able to do so once again. All arrival quotas will be dropped.
A full breakdown of the official new border protocols from April 1st can be found here.
Exciting Changes For Travel To Singapore
I’ll be honest, I have no appetite to visit a country where masks are required outdoors. As much as I love Singapore, and I really do, I couldn’t bear to think of exploring such a warm and wonderful destination with a mask on outside.
Masks will remain en force indoors, but all outdoor requirements have been dropped. Social gathering limits are being doubled, or also dropped entirely.
“Resume more normal lives, enjoy larger gatherings of family and friends, go outdoors without masks, or reunite with loved ones abroad,”Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore
The travel experience is simplifying. The rules for coping with Covid-19 in Singapore are relaxing. Travel to Singapore is starting to sound seriously attractive again. I may not be able to resist.
A lone pre-flight test is a reasonable requirement for the time being and being able to arrive on any flight, without additional paperwork is very close to pre-pandemic. If you have been missing Southeast Asia, Singapore may be a top choice from April 1st.
Here’s a 48 hour guide to making the most of your time in this incredible city state.
Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world’s leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly… More by Gilbert Ott