India not among 11 countries allowed quarantine-free travel to Singapore

The Singapore government’s VTL scheme covers seven European countries - Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Germany - along with United States and Canada
Singapore will be reopening its border to vaccinated visitors from 11 countries from October 19, however, India has not been included in the list of countries allowed quarantine-free entry under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for now. (Archive)
Singapore will be reopening its border to vaccinated visitors from 11 countries from October 19, however, India has not been included in the list of countries allowed quarantine-free entry under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for now. (Archive)
Updated on Oct 12, 2021 05:03 AM IST
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By HTC and Agencies, Hindustan Times, Singapore/new Delhi

Singapore will be reopening its border to vaccinated visitors from 11 countries from October 19, however, India has not been included in the list of countries allowed quarantine-free entry under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for now, the country said. Travellers have to be vaccinated with a World Health Organization (WHO) approved jab, its guidelines said.

The Singapore government’s VTL scheme covers seven European countries - Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Germany - along with United States and Canada. The only Asian country in the list is Brunei. China, India, and Indonesia have not been included so far. In addition to this, vaccinated travellers from South Korea will also be allowed to enter the country from November 15, reported news agency ANI.

To avail the VTL scheme travellers have to fly to Singapore in a VTL-designated flight flown by Singapore Airlines or Lufthansa. The government will be adding other carriers to the list over time. Singapore Airlines is expanding VTL flight services to 14 cities, with more points on special designated services to be announced in coming weeks, the carrier said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a senior Indian government official said, “The appropriate ministries will work on resolving whatever the concerns are but there is nothing to be said formally at the moment on the matter.”

Travellers will also need to carry proof of their vaccination and undergo RT-PCR test not more than 48 hours before their departure and also on their arrival at Singapore’s Changi airport. Previously, travellers had to take four such tests to gain entry.

This announcement comes days after Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s push to live with Covid-19 without being paralysed by fear. During a televised address on Saturday, Loong said that the delta variant has shown that Covid-19 is not going away anywhere. However, with vaccinations, social distancing measures and careful monitoring, it will be possible to live with the “new normal”. “It will take us at least three months, and perhaps as long as six months, to get there,” he cautioned.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021