With the easing of travel restrictions, you may be itching to book your next ticket out of Singapore. For most of us, it may have been a while since our last trip overseas. Not to worry – we’ve made an easy travel checklist for Covid-19, for all the important things you must prepare for your travels during Covid-19.
Travel Checklist for VTL Travel
Before Leaving Singapore on the VTL
1. Get proof of your vaccination status
Fully vaccinated individuals can travel to more countries and enjoy ease of entry with less restrictions. For Singaporeans, remember to complete your booster shot, given that your vaccination status may expire 270 days after your primary series.
As HealthHub or TraceTogether aren’t recognised overseas, you’ll also need to set up your digital vaccination certification on Notarise.
2. Confirm your flight tickets and hotel reservations
Given that the Covid-19 situation is always so unpredictable, unexpected surges may make travel unsafe during the period you had booked. Make sure that your flights and hotels have flexible cancellation or rescheduling policies, so that you don’t get locked into a fixed set of dates.
3. Download local contact tracing apps
You may want to look up whether your destination country has any local contact tracing apps that you’ll need to use when you’re travelling.
Some of these apps may not be available for download in Singapore; but knowing them in advance means you can connect to airport Wi-Fi and quickly download them when you finally touch down.
4. Do your pre-departure Covid-19 test
Depending on where you’re travelling to, you may need to do a PCR test or a supervised ART. Check and double-check which pre-departure Covid-19 test you need and the required testing window at your destination country.
Do your PCR test at any of our island-wide clinics or book a home-based PCR test. For countries that only require an ART, you’re in luck! Save yourself the hassle of travelling to a clinic; do your pre-departure supervised ART over video-call on the DA app.
4. Purchase travel insurance
It’s always been important to get travel insurance – but it’s a must-have in Covid times. Most travel policies will now have Covid-19 coverage so there are plenty to choose from when you’re flying on the VTL.
Opt for a policy that gives you most peace of mind while travelling: whether it’s a policy that has a higher coverage for medical bills or one that provides more daily allowance, should you need to quarantine overseas.
When Returning to Singapore on the VTL
Before your VTL flight back to Singapore
Do your pre-departure Covid-19 test overseas
You’ll need to test negative on either a pre-departure Covid-19 PCR or a ART, within 2 days of departure for Singapore. You can skip this pre-departure test if you have proof of recovering from Covid-19.
With the announcement on 4 April, you’ll now be able to do your pre-departure ART over video-call, if you are a returning Singapore resident or Work Pass-holder. Book your appointment now on the DA app, for hassle-free travel home.
After landing in Singapore on the VTL
Complete your on-arrival supervised ART
With the recent revisions to the VTL travel policy, you’ll only have to do a supervised ART within 24 hours of arriving in Singapore. Rather than going all the way down to a Quick Test Centre, do your on-arrival ART with our online supervised ART service instead.
Although you may be itching to share your travel stories, do isolate yourself until you get your results. (Luckily, you’ll get your results in 4 hours or less, with our online ART service.)
FAQs about Travel during Covid-19
Do I need to do a pre-departure test to return back to Singapore?
Fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to do a pre-departure test to return to Singapore. This applies for returning from all countries, whether you’re travelling by air, sea or land.
Do I need to travel on designated flights or ferries?
As of Apr 1, all existing VTLs and unilateral opening arrangements have been retired. As such, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enter Singapore on any flight or ferry. There will also be no more quotas applied on daily or weekly arrivals.
Can I travel to other countries apart from the one I flew to?
Yes, you can travel to other countries. There are no requirements on minimum stay duration in any country before you board your flight back to Singapore.
What should I do if I test positive for Covid-19 before flying back to Singapore?
If you test positive, you won’t be able to board your flight back to Singapore. Before making any decisions, contact your insurer to be sure of your Covid-19 coverage. You’ll also have to decide your:
- Accommodation: Depending on your condition, you may be able to self-isolate in a hotel or apartment, without having to quarantine in a medical facility.
- Return flight to Singapore: Most airlines will only allow a recovered patient onboard after 14 days from their positive result. Contact your airline to reschedule your flight. If you’re able to speak to their customer service officer, get their advice on which date you should pick, based on the date of your Covid-19 positive test.
What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 after returning to Singapore?
Generally, if you are a fully vaccinated Singapore resident or long-term pass holders, you will not have to pay for COVID-19-related treatment in hospitals or government facilities, if you fall ill with Covid-19 within 14 days of their return to Singapore.
However, if you’ve travelled to a country that’s been classified as a Restricted Country, you’ll be required to pay for your treatment at the medical facility you’re recovering at, if you test positive for Covid-19 within seven days of return to Singapore.
Most importantly, don’t panic.
Travelling is all about embracing new and unexpected situations. While it’s natural to feel worried if you’ve tested positive, most vaccinated individuals experience relatively mild side-effects and can recover rather quickly.
Whatever happens, enjoy your travels overseas. The past two years have been draining for most of us, and we all deserve a break to destress and reset. We wish you with a wonderful trip with your loved ones. Bon voyage!