Singapore's Vaccinated Travel Framework is underway: 5 things to know

Singapore's Vaccinated Travel Framework is underway: 5 things to know

Among the key things to note, eligible travellers arriving via air or sea are still subject to a pre-departure test within two days before departure for Singapore.

Following the earlier announcement launching the Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) from 31 March 2022 (2359 hours) in which all fully vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has released further information on the VTF. We've compiled five main things for you to note if you're keen to use the VTF.

1. Eligibility

The following groups will be eligible under the Framework:

  1. Travellers aged 12 years and below, regardless of vaccination status;
  2. Travellers who have received the full regimen of World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines at least 14 days before arrival in Singapore and have met the minimum dose interval period. 

"This is because the WHO EUL vaccination guidelines are the most widely-accepted definition for full vaccination around the world, and it is appropriate for Singapore’s entry requirements to align to this definition. It will facilitate Singaporeans travelling in and out of Singapore and foreigners visiting Singapore," MOH stated.

It should be noted that eligible travellers arriving via air or sea are still subject to a pre-departure test (PDT) within two days before departure for Singapore. However, they are not subject to on-arrival tests or Stay-Home Notice.

2. Vaccinations and boosters for travellers

Incoming travellers who were not vaccinated in Singapore and do not have their records reflected in Singapore’s National Immunisation Registry (NIR), will have their vaccination status in their TraceTogether app be reflected as fully vaccinated for 30 days, for purposes of entering premises subject to Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS).

To register your status in NIR, this process can be done at any Public Health Preparedness Clinic. You must confirm if your chosen clinic can facilitate the registration before heading down with the following documents:

  • Personal identification documents
  • Valid vaccination certificate (see Stage 1A for details).

If their stay in Singapore exceeds 30 days, they will need to have their vaccination records ingested into the NIR and may be required to receive additional doses to continue to meet Singapore’s requirements for vaccination. 

For clarity, the rules described in the above paragraph do not apply to travellers aged 12 years and below. All children aged 12 years and below are allowed to enter settings where VDS is implemented regardless of their vaccination status.

Currently, short-term travellers are not eligible to receive doses under Singapore’s National Vaccination Programme. From mid-April, MOH will enable such travellers to pay to receive COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. More details, including pricing and the list of participating healthcare providers, will be provided at a later.

3. Documents to prepare prior to departure

The first type of document to prepare is vaccination documentation. For those who have a recognised Digitally Verifiable Vaccination Certificate (DVC), they can use the Vaccination Check Portal (VCP) to confirm their DVC is recognised by the Singapore authorities. If the verification is successful, they will receive a vaccination acceptance letter to be used for boarding and immigration checks. For those unable to get their DVC verified, please refer to the vaccination certificate FAQ.

For those who do not have a recognised DVC, or have had difficulties verifying their DVC, prepare a Vaccination Certificate (including certificate on a vaccination app) that is in English, or accompanied with notarised English Translation, with the following details:

  • Name (per travel document used for entry),
  • At least one other personal identifier, e.g. date of birth or passport number (per travel document used for entry),
  • Country of vaccination,
  • Name of vaccine(s) administered, i.e. different names for different vaccine type,
  • Vaccination date(s).

The second type of documentation needed is the right entry visa. For example, foreigners entering Singapore without a long-term pass must apply for an entry visa. For another category, i.e. long-term pass and in-principle approval (IPA) holders, the travellers will require a valid pass card or IPA letter for pre-boarding checks or immigration clearance

Travellers across all entry categories must ensure that their passport is valid for at least six months. Entries for non-Citizens or Permanent Residents can be denied if the required documents are not produced during pre-boarding or immigration clearance. 

The third type of documentation needed is the filled-in SG Arrival Card (SGAC) with the Electronic Health declaration which must be completed within three days before arrival. Upon completion of the declaration, travellers will receive an email acknowledgement which can be used for smoother preboarding and immigration clearance.

The fourth thing travellers need to look out for is to install and activate TraceTogether. Only travellers aged six or below this year are exempted from installing TraceTogether. For those who encounter issues activating TraceTogether, they can submit a request for assistance or collect a TraceTogether token after arrival for a one-time fee of S$13.

4. Pre-departure test (PDT)

PDT is not required for travellers who:

  • Are entering Singapore via land (i.e. those from Malaysia); or
  • Tested positive for COVID-19 between seven to 90 days before their date of departure for Singapore, in which case they must use this tool to check if the PDT can be waived, and the documentation required to prove recovery.

For all travellers arriving by air/sea, and born before 2020 (i.e. above two years old), they must take any of the following COVID-19 tests within two days before departure:

Ask for a non-handwritten PDT report that is in English (or accompanied with a notarised English Translation) containing the following details:

  • Traveller's name, and date of birth or passport number (per the passport used to travel to Singapore); and
  • Reflects the date and result of the COVID-19 test.

5. What to do if you get COVID-19 whilst in Singapore

Any traveller who tests positive for COVID-19 during their stay must adhere to the recovery protocols listed here in detail, and summarised below. Those assessed to be ineligible for home or in-situ recovery may be conveyed to a suitable COVID-19 care facility. Information on treatment and costs for COVID-19 for travellers can be found on this page.

Testing positive for those residing in hotels*
*(includes both Stay-Home Notice (SHN)-Dedicated Facilities (SDFs) and non-SDF hotels, as well as other managed residences such as serviced apartments)

Most groups of travellers (including tourists, Singaporeans, and PRs) are responsible for all costs associated with COVID-19 treatment and recovery, and if tested positive, the necessary arrangements for self-isolation, including in self-sourced accommodation. Travellers may depart Singapore when they are recovered and officially discharged from their isolation and/or tested negative for COVID-19 in accordance with Ministry of Health (MOH) health protocols.

For those who feel unwell

If you feel unwell while serving your SHN, follow the instructions in the notice issued to you, which include:

  • If you test negative for COVID-19 and are not placed on a recovery protocol following medical consultation, you should continue to serve the remaining duration of your SHN.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and are placed on a recovery protocol, you are not required to undergo further testing. Instead, you should follow the protocols for the recovery procedure assigned to you by your medical provider. If you receive an SMS from the MOH following your positive test, you should also follow all the instructions in the SMS.
  • After discharge from the relevant recovery protocol, you do not need to adhere to further testing/ SHN obligations.
  • If you are not under any border health measures but feel unwell, seek medical advice at a clinic immediately via private transport or call 995 for urgent conveyance to a medical facility.

If you feel well but tested positive for COVID-19

In such a scenario, if you fulfil any of the following criteria, you should receive medical advice even if you are feeling well:

  • Individuals aged 70 years old and above,
  • Children less than one year old,
  • Children less than 12 years old and have any of these conditions:
    • Congenital condition or chronic condition that affects the heart, lung, brain, nerves or muscles
    • Diabetes Mellitus or hypertension
  • Pregnant,
  • Had an organ transplant surgery before,
  • Have any disease or are taking medications which weaken the immune system,
  • Diagnosed with cancer before (including blood cancers),
  • On dialysis, 
  • Diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, 
  • Have disease affecting heart, lungs, kidneys, liver or brain that required hospital admission in the last six months,

If you don't fall under any of the above categories, for the first 72 hours, isolate at your hotel or residential accommodation and follow these instructions. Following exit from 72-hour isolation, you do not need to adhere to further testing/ SHN obligations.

If you receive a Health Risk Notice (HRN) via SMS

Please follow the instructions in the SMS and the relevant webpage.

Self-administered ART kits can be purchased online or from pharmacies and drugstores around Singapore. Hotels may also carry self-administered ART kits for purchase. If you are still serving SHN or tested positive on an COVID-19 test and are isolating, you should purchase your ART kits through contactless methods. 

ALSO READ Singapore's latest endemic measures: 24 Mar 2022 updates on masking, workplace return, border reopening, and more

Image / 123RF

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