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Singapore opens VTL to unvaccinated children aged 12 and below

Singapore opens VTL to unvaccinated children aged 12 and below

The latest VTL rule applies to all children (aged 12 and below) who are Singapore citizens, permanent residents (PRs), short-term visitors, and long-term pass holders.

After opening up travel borders to nine more countries/regions (for a total of 11 VTL destinations), Singapore's Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) will next allow unvaccinated children aged 12 and below to travel from VTL countries into Singapore on or after 19 October 2021, if they are accompanied by a VTL traveller, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has announced.

This rule of entry applies to children who are:

  • Singapore citizens;
  • Permanent residents (PRs);
  • Short-term visitors, and
  • Long-term pass holders.

As for the age of the child, it will be calculated based on the calendar year. For example, a child born in or after 2009 will be allowed to enter Singapore under the VTL in 2021. Since the child must be accompanied by a VTL traveller who meets all VTL requirements, he/she does not need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) to travel to Singapore under the VTL.

With that, like all the other VTL travellers, the children:

  • Do not need to serve quarantine, and
  • Need to undergo pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests (except for children aged two years and below).
    • A pre-departure test within 48 hours before departing to Singapore and obtain a negative test result; and
    • An on-arrival test at Changi Airport and remain self-isolated until their test result is confirmed to be negative.

The VTL requirements of travel history, for example, continues to apply to unvaccinated children aged 12 and below. CAAS, however, urged travellers to check the prevailing entry requirements imposed by the countries they are travelling to, including any restrictions on the age of travellers and vaccination status. This travel rule for the unvaccinated, for instance, doesn't apply to the Republic of South Korea (ROK).

Commenting on this decision, Han Kok Juan, Director-General, CAAS, said: "We have received positive public feedback on the VTL and its extension. Some parents have suggested also allowing their children to travel under the VTL. We have considered this suggestion in consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and decided to allow it to facilitate family travel."

He said that government authorities are aware that this might pose a public health risk, but it can be mitigated with the other safeguards with the help of parents, as well as other travellers by adhering to public health measures when at host or home country.

Image / 123RF

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