Singapore, Nov 27 (CNA) – Singapore will extend vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) to six more countries next month, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on Friday (Nov 26).
From Dec 14, travellers from Thailand may enter Singapore under the quarantine-free VTL.
Travellers from Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Turkey can do so from Dec 16.
This latest move will increase the number of countries with which Singapore has VTL arrangements to 27.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these 27 countries contributed to about 60 per cent of the total daily arrivals at Changi Airport, said CAAS.
“This latest extension will further broaden Changi’s network and help reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity,” said the authority.
With the latest extension, the daily VTL quota will be raised from 10,000 to 15,000 travellers.
Speaking at a virtual media doorstop on Friday, Transport Minister S Iswaran said that Singapore’s VTL quotas amount to about one-third of the total pre-COVID flows from these countries.
He added that the move was a “further calibrated expansion” of the VTL scheme and will reconnect Singapore with the world while managing the public health risk.
“Even as we continue to reopen our borders to secure Singapore’s position as a global business and aviation hub, we will closely monitor the global public health situation, especially for the emergence of any new variants of concern, and impose additional safeguards as necessary,” Mr Iswaran added.
“This is integral to our careful and calibrated approach to reopening our borders, and tightening our safeguards when warranted by the latest public health risk assessment.”
He also urged all Singaporeans and residents to closely track the situation in the countries they are visiting, and to be “well-informed and updated” on their latest public health and border measures, as well as to plan “well ahead” for contingencies.
Under the VTL scheme, fully vaccinated travellers on designated VTL flights can enter Singapore without undergoing quarantine. They are only required to undergo COVID-19 testing.
“The expansion of the VTL scheme to these countries will continue to restore two-way quarantine-free travel between Singapore and VTL countries whose borders are now open to us,” said CAAS.