Singapore Now Allows Arrivals From Australia & Vietnam

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Singapore introduced Air Travel Pass (ATP) back in August for short-term visitors from New Zealand Brunei. This facility has today been extended for arrivals from Vietnam and Australia, excluding Victoria.

Visitors from these two countries can apply for an ATP starting on October 1, 2020, and arrive at the earliest seven days later. Eligible arrivals need to take and pay for a Covid-19 test upon arrival and stay at a booked accommodation (no roaming around) until the test result is ready (and hopefully negative).

You can access Singapore’s page for Safe Travel here.

Here’s an excerpt from the Straits Times:

Australia currently bans all overseas travel, and those who want to do so have to apply for an exemption. In addition, foreigners are not allowed to enter the country at the moment.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has temporarily suspended entry of all foreigners and overseas Vietnamese via commercial flights. It will only approve entry for some foreigners, such as those with diplomatic passports, on a case-by-case basis.

Since border restrictions to visitors from Brunei and New Zealand were lifted on Sept 8, CAAS has approved 331 applications from travellers from the two countries.

As of 5pm on Wednesday, 136 visitors have arrived so far. None of them tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.

Here’s the ATP process:

Pre-Departure

Prior to departing for Singapore, a visitor holding an Air Travel Pass must:

  • remain in Vietnam in the last 14 consecutive days before departing for Singapore;
  • monitor his/her health status before departure;
  • book an accommodation in Singapore to serve out his/her isolation period for 1-2 days while waiting for his/her post-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result 1. The accommodation 2 must be non-residential and must be an individual room with an attached toilet;
  • check that his/her mobile device is compatible 3 with the TraceTogether app and download it on his/her mobile device 4; and
  • submit his/her health, travel history, and accommodation declarations electronically via the SG Arrival Card, no earlier than three days prior to his/her date of arrival in Singapore.

Visitors are also strongly encouraged to register and pre-pay for their post-arrival COVID-19 PCR test prior to departing for Singapore.

When checking in at the departure airport, the visitor must present to the airline staff:

  • a valid Air Travel Pass approval letter (electronic or physical copy) for the specified period of entry into Singapore;
  • valid visa (for visa-required passport holders); and
  • a mobile device with the TraceTogether app downloaded.

A visitor who does not have any of the above may be refused boarding by the airline.

Arrival and Stay in Singapore

Arrival

At arrival immigration in Singapore, the visitor must present to the ICA officer:

  • a valid Air Travel Pass approval letter (electronic or physical copy) for the specified period of entry into Singapore;
  • a valid visa (for visa-required passport holders); and
  • a mobile device with the TraceTogether app downloaded.

A visitor who does not have any of the above may be refused entry into Singapore by ICA.

A visitor holding an Air Travel Pass will undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport upon arrival in Singapore. After undergoing the test, the visitor must take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car to travel from the airport to his/her declared accommodation, and remain in isolation at that accommodation until he/she is notified that his/her test result is negative. The visitor shall also bear any transportation and accommodation costs incurred.

If the visitor tests negative for COVID-19, the visitor can leave his/her accommodation and go about his/her activities in Singapore. Visitors must be responsible for their medical bills should they require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore.

During and After Stay in Singapore

Visitors must adhere to the prevailing public health measures during their stay in Singapore, which include wearing of masks and safe distancing.

To facilitate contact tracing, visitors must keep the TraceTogether app activated on their mobile devices while in Singapore. They are also required to retain the TraceTogether app with the data for 14 consecutive days after leaving Singapore. A visitor must upload all data in the TraceTogether app upon request by the Singapore Ministry of Health should he/she test positive for COVID-19 while in Singapore or in the first 14 days after leaving Singapore.

Conclusion

Not sure if this ATP could be considered a success if only 136 visitors have utilized the facility and arrived from Brunei or New Zealand.

There won’t be a rush of arrivals from Australia or Australia either, because it will be difficult for Vietnamese to return to their country and Aussies need prior approval to leave theirs.

If Singapore waits until other countries reach the community spread similar to Vietnam or Australia, there won’t be widespread travel to the city-state before 2022.

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