Singapore Welcomes Visitors From Mainland China & Victoria From November 6, 2020

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Singapore has slowly relaxed the entry requirements under which non-citizens/residents can visit the city-state.

The country has already allowed visitors from Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Brunei, and Australia, excluding Vitoria. Eligible passengers must apply for an Air Travel Pass and test for Covid-19 upon arrival. If the test is negative, there are no restrictions for movement within the country.

You can learn more and apply for the Air Travel Pass here.

Here’s the announcement from CAAS:

Singapore Welcomes Visitors From Mainland China And Victoria State (Australia) From 6 November 202

1. From 6 November 2020, 0000 hours, Singapore will lift our border restrictions for visitors[1]  from Mainland China and Victoria State (Australia).

2. Both Mainland China and Victoria State (Australia) have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and displayed successful control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Over the past 28 days, Mainland China and Victoria State (Australia) has a virus local incidence rate of 0.00009 and 0.099 per 100,000 respectively. The risk of importation from these places is low.

3. From 30 October 2020, 1200 hours (Singapore time), visitors travelling from Mainland China and Victoria State (Australia) can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) for entry into Singapore on or after 6 November 2020[2]. Applicants must have remained in either Mainland China or Australia in the last 14 consecutive days prior to their entry. They will undergo a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival at the airport and if the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore, without a need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

4. We will also update the travel advisory to allow travel to Mainland China and all of Australia. Travellers are advised to check the entry requirements imposed by these countries and take the necessary precautionary measures.

5. From 6 November 2020, 0000 hours (Singapore time), Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders returning from Mainland China and Victoria State (Australia) will similarly undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival, and if the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore, without a need to serve SHN.

6. This latest initiative follows the earlier lifting of border restrictions for visitors from Australia (excluding Victoria State), Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand and Vietnam. As of 29 October 2020, 1200 hours, we have approved 1,375 applications from these places, and received 602 visitors. None of the visitors tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.

Requirements for Visitors Entering Under the Air Travel Pass

7 To protect public health in Singapore, ATP applicants must comply with the following conditions of travel:

  1. Travel History – They must have spent the last 14 consecutive days in Mainland China or Australia before departing for Singapore. All visitors must travel to Singapore on direct flights without transit.
  2. Post-Arrival COVID-19 Testing – Upon arrival in Singapore, visitors must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport. The test results will be out within 48 hours, and typically within 12 hours. After taking the COVID-19 PCR test, visitors are to take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car from the airport to their declared place of accommodation[3]. They must remain isolated at the accommodation until the test result is confirmed to be negative. Checks will be made to ensure that this is adhered to. After being notified of their negative test results, visitors will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.
  3. Contact Tracing – To facilitate the contact tracing process, visitors must download and register for the TraceTogether app[4] on their mobile devices prior to departing for Singapore, keep it activated during their stay here, and not delete it for 14 consecutive days after leaving Singapore. Should they subsequently test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after leaving Singapore, they will be required to upload data in the app upon request by the Singapore Ministry of Health.
  4. Medical Costs – Visitors must be responsible for their medical bills related to COVID-19 while in Singapore. This includes costs related to tests and isolation imposed on visitors for public health reasons should they be suspected of being infected with COVID-19, as well as medical treatment for COVID-19.

8. Visitors can apply for the single-entry ATP, at no charge, between seven and thirty calendar days prior to their intended date of entry into Singapore. More details on the conditions of the ATP, application requirements and process, and Frequently Asked Questions can be found at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg.

9. To expedite the COVID-19 PCR test at the airport, all passengers travelling from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, New Zealand and Vietnam are strongly encouraged to register and pre-pay for their post-arrival COVID-19 PCR test prior to departing for Singapore at https://safetravel.changiairport.com.

10. For further queries on the ATP, visitors can email to COVID_ATP_Enquiries@caas.gov.sg.

Conclusion

The number of tourists or business travelers that have arrived in Singapore utilizing Air Travel Pass has been rather limited, considering that there has been less than 1,400 application submitted (unclear how many of those approved have acually arrived).

Many of the eligible countries continue to restrict the movement of their citizens to travel overseas. However, it is good to see that Singapore takes a realistic approach trying to jumpstart the travel sector that the country heavily relies on.

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