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Travel bubbles for Singapore — Countries where you can go
Wanderlust Singaporeans, who have not been able to travel for much of 2020 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, are seeing a glimmer of hope.
Hong Kong and Singapore have now confirmed an air travel bubble in principle. This means that visitors going from Singapore to Hong Kong and vice versa do not need to serve a quarantine period, but are required to take a Covid-19 swab test and use dedicated flights. The launch date has not been announced, though.
More travel bubble arrangements are being negotiated between Singapore and countries that have managed the Covid-19 pandemic well. Additionally, there are some green lane arrangements set up for business travellers.
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Overview of travel bubble and green lane arrangements
Air Travel Bubble
Hong Kong (from 22nd Nov 2020)
Green lane arrangement
Brunei, China, Japan, Malaysia, and South Korea
Business and official travellers
Travellers entering Singapore from these countries do not need to quarantine*
Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia (excluding Victoria), South Korea
Travellers entering Singapore from these countries have shorter 7 day quarantine
Travellers from Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Malaysia
Travel bubble negotiations underway
Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand
*They will need to self-isolate until they receive a negative Covid-19 test
Hong Kong travel bubble with Singapore
Confirmed. Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed that they will establish an air travel bubble, the first of such arrangement.
Travellers need to take dedicated flights but do not need to quarantine or stick to a controlled itinerary. However, they will need to take the swab test.
The actual launch date and implementation details will be announced later.
China travel bubble with Singapore
Not confirmed yet. However, China is the first country to establish a reciprocal green lane arrangement with Singapore. This is only for business and official travellers only.
Japan travel bubble with Singapore
Not confirmed yet. Since Sept 18, Singapore and Japan have launched a green lane for essential business and official travel. Travellers coming in from Japan to Singapore must submit a travel itinerary for the duration of their stay, but need not observe a 14-day quarantine period.
South Korea travel bubble with Singapore
Not confirmed yet. But, like with China, Singapore has a green lane arrangement for business travellers with South Korea. The Singapore office of the Korea Tourism Organisation also says that air travel bubble negotiations are underway.
Thailand travel bubble with Singapore
Not confirmed yet. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry has reached out to Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong to negotiate special travel arrangements.
Travellers coming from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia don’t have to quarantine
Travellers coming into Singapore from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia will have to be swabbed and are required to self-isolate until they receive a negative test. However, they don’t need to serve the 2-week quarantine. This is on the condition that they have been in that country for the last 14 consecutive days prior to their visit to Singapore. Note that for Australia, it excludes the State of Victoria, which is where Melbourne is.
This arrangement has been ongoing since September 1. Travellers need to apply for “air travel pass” between seven and 30 days before their intended date of arrival into Singapore.
Certain green lane arrangements, such as that with South Korea and Japan, also allow business travellers from South Korea to enter without quarantine, as long as they self-isolate until they receive a negative Covid-19 test and follow an approved itinerary within the country.
Although restrictions have laxed for travellers coming from these countries, it does not mean that their borders are open to receive leisure travellers. Even if you manage to enter, you might need to serve a 2-week quarantine and bear the costs of swab tests and accommodation.
Shorter quarantine period for visitors coming from certain countries
Travellers from Macau, mainland China, Taiwan, and Malaysia need only do 7 days worth of quarantine, shortened from 14 days.
SafeTravel Pass travellers
Even for business travellers or those doing so under green lane arrangements who are arriving into Singapore, travel requirements are more onerous than simply grabbing the passport and a luggage. They must have SafeTravel Pass approval and other documentation, as below:
A valid SafeTravel Pass approval letter (the date of entry into Singapore must fall within the period of entry stated in the letter);
A valid visa to enter Singapore (for visa-required passport holders who are short-term visitors to Singapore);
A valid certificate of negative result for a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure for Singapore (the certificate must be from the medical institutions designated by the ROK Government); and
A return air ticket or proof of other transportation arrangements to depart Singapore.
Failure to produce any of the documents will result in failure to board the flight to Singapore.
Long story short, we still cannot travel for fun
Even with green lane arrangements, leisure travellers will not be allowed to enter these countries. Even if you manage to, you might need to serve a 2-week quarantine and bear the costs of swab tests and accommodation.
These rules are really for the health and safety of Singaporeans as well as everyone else.
We can assume that the earliest travel bubbles for Singapore would likely be with Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand. We will look out for any confirmed travel bubbles and update this article as we go.
In the meanwhile, why not explore what Singapore has to offer, such as offshore islands and various Singapore Rediscovers tours. You even get $100 SingapoRediscover credits in Nov/Dec from the government to do so!