In September 2021, Singapore opened its first Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Germany, in which fully vaccinated travellers who take the appropriate COVID-19 tests and travel to Singapore via dedicated VTL flights are able to land quarantine-free.
Beginning October 19, 2021, Singapore will extend their VTL and open their borders to Canada, the United States, and six other European countries. This aligns with the city-state’s announced strategy of “living with COVID” rather than “zero COVID”.
Singapore Travel Restrictions
As of October 19, 2021 (unless otherwise indicated), Singapore will reopen to fully vaccinated residents from the following countries:
- South Korea (as of November 14, 2021)
- United Kingdom
- United States
All of these countries are part of Singapore’s VTL initiative. Arrivals must have been vaccinated in one of these countries, have spent the past 14 days in one of these countries, and be travelling on a VTL-approved flight in order to qualify for quarantine-free arrival.
How Can Canadians Enter Singapore?
Travellers are allowed to enter Singapore by air via Singapore Changi Airport.
Travellers coming from Canada must fulfill all of the following in order to enter Singapore:
- Present proof of vaccination via the Smart Health Card.
- British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Quebec currently use this as their provincial proof.
- Ontario has announced their intention to move towards the Smart Health Card on October 22.
- All provinces will soon be adopting the Smart Health Card as the federal standard for proof of vaccination.
- Present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure of the first leg of the journey.
- This must be taken at an “approved provider”. The full list is available on the Singapore Ministry of Health website.
- No recognized labs are listed for Canada at the moment; however, the website states “travellers should seek advice from the country’s/region’s Department of Health”, so Canada’s own recognized testing providers should qualify.
- Apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) prior to departure.
- This involves uploading the QR code of the traveller’s vaccination certificate and pre-paying for the on-arrival COVID-19 test.
If a Canadian traveller has been in Europe and received any iteration of the EU Digital COVID Certificates, that would also suffice as proof of vaccination.
Travellers must also be flying on a VTL-approved flight to Singapore. Canada’s VTL-approved flight will be the newly-announced Vancouver to Singapore service on Singapore Airlines.
Full entry and flight details are available on the Singapore Travel website.
Testing & Quarantine Upon Arrival
All international arrivals are subject to a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, and must remain in isolation until they receive a result, most likely within 24 hours. This can be at any residential accommodation or hotel.
If the test returns a positive result, Raffles Medical Group will be moving the traveller to a medical facility for isolation and treatment at their own expense.
Testing & Quarantine Upon Return
Travellers must complete a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding their flight back to Canada.
The list of laboratories and hospitals in Singapore performing PCR tests for travellers is extensive, and the full list is available on the Singapore Ministry of Health website. Most seem to charge around the same price as the on-arrival test, around S$160–180 ($147–166).
Current Health Requirements in Singapore
Health requirements in Singapore are stringent, with proof of vaccination being a requirement for dining, attending live performances, seeing a movie, visiting the gym, and many other activities.
Unvaccinated individuals must have a pre-event test (PET) taken within the past 24 hours in order to participate in the above activities.
All social gatherings including dining have a limit of two persons per group and a maximum of one gathering a day per person. Cinemas are limited to 1,000 attendees if vaccinated and 50 without.
Museums and other attractions are limited at 50% capacity and shopping malls can have one person per 10 square metres.
Hotels can only ever have two persons per room, unless the occupants are all from the same household.
General masking requirements are in effect, and exceptions are made for two per group in outdoor activities and at gyms. Further exceptions apply at personal care services such as hair salons and massage parlours, if the customer is vaccinated.
Full details on COVID-19 restrictions are available via the Singapore Ministry of Health website.
Short-term travellers to Singapore must take a serology COVID-19 test from an approved provider in order to have their vaccination records recorded in Singapore’s National Immunization Registry (NIR). Afterwards, travellers can then use the TraceTogether app to provide proof of vaccination in Singapore.
Further information on obtaining a proof of vaccination for travellers is available on the Singapore Ministry of Health website.
How to Get to Singapore
All travellers must be entering Singapore via VTL-approved flights. Canada’s VTL-approved flight will be on a direct flight to Singapore from Vancouver on Singapore Airlines.
The flight will be SQ29, a reinstated flight from Seattle to Singapore with a stopover in Vancouver. This flight will operate four times weekly; however, only two flights are VTL-approved. The Singapore Airlines website clearly outlines which ones these are with a blue banner.
Travellers from Seattle will receive a complimentary stopover in Vancouver. That being said, the flight from Seattle to Vancouver will not be bookable as a fifth freedom flight.
Travellers are allowed to enter Singapore from any VTL-approved flight, as long as their vaccinations are from a VTL-approved country and they have spent the past 14 days only in VTL-approved countries.
This means Canadians are able to, say, travel around the VTL-approved European countries before flying to Singapore. Since the new direct flight launches in December, this will be the only way for Canadians to enter Singapore when the VTL launches on October 19.
I would expect this route to cost 125,000 KrisFlyer miles in business class, with no saver options available due to high demand – this is the pattern seen with the current VTL-approved flights through Germany. The flight from Canada is not yet available to book, in either miles or cash.
Note that on the way to Singapore, transit countries do matter, so be sure to check that your stopovers or layovers are all within VTL-approved countries.
On the return leg, any regularly bookable flight will suffice, as Canada has no VTL requirement.
Singapore is open to all vaccinated Canadian travellers, representing the first South East Asian country to open in full without any quarantine requirements (Thailand has only opened a few islands).
The travel restrictions are extensive and stringent, so all travellers should double-check they are on VTL-approved flights and that their pre-departure test is accepted.
The negative PCR test requirement for returning to Canada is easily attainable in Singapore at a cost similar to obtaining one in Canada.
Keep in mind that COVID-19 restrictions in Singapore are strict. Notably, only two persons may dine together at any establishment, regardless of whether they are from the same household.
As always, you can refer to our Travel During COVID-19 Resource for Canadians for the most up-to-date information on travelling in the pandemic era.