Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on November 9.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Singapore, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The city-state is currently easing out of a record-high wave of infections and now relaxing curbs that were reimposed in September as officials battled a surge in infections fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Singapore has vaccinated more than 82% of its 5.45 million population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. While it is still recording around 3,000 cases per day, most are asymptomatic or mild.
Singapore now allows quarantine-free travel for vaccinated people from 11 countries.
Be aware that Singapore takes its pandemic-control regulations very seriously. Quarantine violations carry a penalty of a fine of up to S$10,000 ($7,565), up to six months in jail, or both.
What's on offer
The quintessential modern Asian city, Singapore's glittering skyscrapers and waterside setting make it easy to love. Throw in some of the world's best street food, served in its ubiquitous hawker centers, and the lush rainforest of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and the city-state has more than enough to satisfy fascinated tourists.
Who can go
On November 8, Singapore announced it would open its borders to vaccinated travelers from Malaysia, Finland and Switzerland from November 29 as part of its Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) scheme, which allows visitors from a handful of countries to enter Singapore without having to quarantine.
Vaccinated travelers from the following countries can already travel to Singapore without quarantine restrictions: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
South Korea and Singapore will launch mutual "vaccinated travel lanes" on November 15.
Fully vaccinated travelers coming from countries taking part in the VTL scheme are required to show proof of a negative PCR test but will not have to quarantine. Children under age 12 who cannot be vaccinated are permitted to enter as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Travelers from these places must apply for an Air Travel Pass online before flying to Singapore.
Eligible visitors will need to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the scheduled flight and will have to take another one upon arriving at Changi Airport. On days three and seven of their stay, they will need to test again at a designated clinic in Singapore.
What that means, though, is no quarantine or stay-at-home order.
This is a significant step in Singapore's long-term strategy to live with Covid and re-open its borders.
A list of government-approved clinics for Covid-19 tests is here.
What are the restrictions?
Singapore nationals and permanent residents are allowed to enter, but must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and spend up to 10 days in quarantine after being served a stay-home notice (SHN) on arrival if not entering via the VTL scheme. This can be undertaken in a dedicated SHN facility, or at their place of residence.
The city-state has announced that it will accept the IATA digital travel pass, colloquially called a vaccine passport, from May 2021. This pass will store data confirming that a traveler has received the Covid-19 vaccination from an accredited laboratory. As the pass is still in the planning stages, Singapore has not released more details about whether holders will be able to skip or shorten quarantine or have other benefits.
Those traveling from countries with an Air Travel Pass agreement must apply for entry here between seven and 30 days before departure and submit health details and all travel movements over the previous 14 days via a SGArrivalCard. They must also download the Trace Together app to their mobile device and pay for an on-arrival PCR test, at a cost of SGD$196 (US $148). This applies to all travelers aged six and over.
As of January 24, anyone entering Singapore for any reason will get a rapid Covid-19 test upon arriving at the airport. And as of January 31, all travelers will have to prove they have travel insurance that can cover at least $30,000 in expenses if necessary.
Layover passengers are permitted in specific areas of the airport. They are not allowed to leave these designated areas unless they have a confirmed booking for one of Changi's two airport hotels, and if going there they must be accompanied by an airport staff member.
What's the Covid situation?
Singapore is currently easing out of its latest round of Covid-19 restrictions imposed in September following a spike in cases.
Under the eased restrictions, up to five fully vaccinated people from the same household will be allowed to dine together at restaurants and bars -- an increase from two,
As of November 9, Singapore has recorded over 221,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 511 deaths.
What can visitors expect?
All visits must be registered either through the Singapore government's Safe Entry and Trace Together apps or by using a Trace Together token, which are available from community centers. Alcohol is not available in restaurants after 10.30 p.m.
Masks must be worn at all times when in public, except by those under six. There are exemptions for eating and exercising.
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