Singapore Travel Guidelines
Know the travel guidelines for Singapore during a pandemic
Singapore has been one of the strictest countries to impose travel restrictions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Currently, only Singapore nationals and permanent residents are allowed to enter the country as per travel guidelines for Singapore. While passengers are permitted to transit under exceptional circumstances, Singapore has made pre-departure tests and travel insurance mandatory for all travellers.
As the deadly coronavirus continues to claim millions of lives across the globe, many countries have closed their borders to international travellers. Singapore is one of the few countries that closed all international travel since early 2020 and issued detailed Singapore Travel Guidelines for its residents and international travellers. If you plan to travel to Singapore, you must ensure you read up the latest travel guidelines for Singapore during a pandemic.
Singapore Travel Guidelines
With the ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases, Singapore has imposed a ban on entry and transit through Singapore. Only Singapore nationals and permanent residents are allowed entry into Singapore without prior notice. No other visitor will be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore without prior permission from the Singapore Government.
In the detailed guidelines for travelling to Singapore, the Singapore Government has issued a mandate that all permanent residents must hold a valid re-entry permit while seeking entry in Singapore. The guidelines also highlight certain exceptions under which specific groups of people may enter Singapore.
Exceptions to the Travel Restrictions
- Long term visit pass holders including in-principle approval (IPA)
- Student pass (STP) and IPA for STP.
- Work pass holders, including dependants (IPA also included).
- Fully vaccinated individuals are holding an approval letter for entry issued by the Ministry of Manpower.
Singapore has suspended the entry of travellers for short term visits until further notice. Unless you hold a Safe Travel Pass, an Air Travel Pass, a Vaccinated Travel Pass or have an approval letter from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), you will not be allowed to enter Singapore for a short-term visit. Please note these passes for short term travel are not entry visas. To enter Singapore, you need to have a valid visa.
Once you receive the visa for entry, remember to fill in the online health declaration. It would be best if you fill in the declaration before your departure, as the submission post-arrival can cause a delay in immigration.
Country-Specific Travel Restrictions
Per the latest travel guidelines for Singapore, Travellers who have visited any of the below-mentioned countries in the last 21 days will not be permitted entry into Singapore.
- Sri Lanka
The travel ban also applies to those travellers who had prior approval to enter Singapore. Furthermore, the ICA may deny entry to any travellers to Singapore under the following circumstances:
- If the traveller has fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or is experiencing shortness of breath
- If the traveller has been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the last 21 days
- If the traveller has been in close contact with a Covid-19 positive person in the previous 14 days
Travel guidelines Singapore – Pre-Departure Test
In January 2021, the Singapore Government issued new travel guidelines for Singapore travellers under which all travellers are expected to undertake a Covid 19 viral test three days before their scheduled travel date. Such travellers must keep the following things in mind when taking the pre-departure test:
- The ICA reserves the right to deny you entry if you show results of self-administered covid tests as they are not accepted
- You must ensure you take the Covid-19 test at a recognised laboratory or medical facility
- Ensure that the testing laboratory or diagnosis centre provides a proper certificate confirming the test result, without which you may be denied entry into Singapore
- Check if the certificate provided has a QR code and ensure you link the QR code with your digital pre-departure test certificate
- Singapore Travel Guidelines also state that you are not required to take the pre-departure test for individuals travelling from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Macao, China, New Zeeland, and Taiwan
- Effective January 31, 2021, all travellers to Singapore need to make sure that they have travel insurance of at least $30,000 to cover hospitalisation expenses in case of an emergency.
Travel Guidelines for High, Moderate & Low-Risk Countries
Travel guidelines for Singapore – High-Risk countries
All travellers from high-risk countries are mandatorily required to undergo quarantine for 14 days on arrival to Singapore. These travellers will be directly taken from the airport to the government designated hotel for quarantine. Children or vulnerable individuals can quarantine with an appropriate caregiver.
Travel Guidelines for Singapore – Moderate Or Low-Risk Countries
Depending on the low-risk country you are travelling from, you will have to undergo no quarantine or a shorter quarantine period. You might also be allowed to undergo quarantine at home if applicable.
Important Points to Remember
- All travellers must take the covid viral test on their arrival at the Changi Airport, Singapore.
- All travellers above 12 years of age who are home quarantined are required to wear an electronic tag. The tag is the size of a wristwatch.
- The costs for the Covid-19 test and quarantine fees are to be covered wholly by the traveller.
- No traveller is allowed to leave the place of quarantine under any circumstances.
- Travellers may not shorten the quarantine duration under any circumstances, even if you wish to exit Singapore.
- All work permit holders must dully abide by the Covid-19 norms. In case of a breach, the ICA can revoke their work permit. Such individuals may incur a heavy penalty and face six months of jail.
- All travellers from the Middle East will have to undergo screening for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and may have to be quarantined if required.
Guidelines For Travelling to Singapore – Schemes
The Singapore Government has designed unique plans for essential business travel. However, here the prerequisite is that your Singapore Travel needs to be sponsored by your employer.
Schemes for long-term pass holders
The Singapore Government has curated a unique scheme for long-term pass holders that facilitates limited travel between Malaysia and Singapore.
Singapore Travel Guidelines for Transiting Passengers
The Singapore authorities allow passengers to transit only on travel routes of airlines approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). Make sure you check with your airline if they have CAAS approval before booking tickets.
Transiting passengers who do not intend to leave the Changi Airport transit area do not need a Singapore visa. You will, however, need a visa if you wish to leave the transit area or the airline you are travelling with does not have a transit facility at the airport.
The travel, as mentioned earlier, guidelines for Singapore during pandemics are subject to change. As such, you must consider all the rules and regulations set forth by the Singapore Government before planning your trip to or via Singapore. Keep checking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore website to stay abreast with the latest travel guidelines for Singapore.