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S’pore launches new VTLs with Greece, Vietnam; expands scheme to more places in India, Malaysia and Indonesia

SINGAPORE — Singapore will launch new quarantine-free travel lanes this month with Greece and Vietnam, and also expand its vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme to Penang in Malaysia, Bali in Indonesia and all cities in India.

Terraced paddies are seen near Jatiluwih in central Bali, Indonesia. Singapore's Transport Minister S Iswaran said that Indonesia plans to launch a trial to allow vaccinated travellers to enter Bali from mid-March.

Terraced paddies are seen near Jatiluwih in central Bali, Indonesia. Singapore's Transport Minister S Iswaran said that Indonesia plans to launch a trial to allow vaccinated travellers to enter Bali from mid-March.

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  • Singapore will launch new vaccinated travel lane arrangements with Greece and Vietnam from March 16
  • Existing ones with Malaysia and Indonesia will be expanded to include Penang and Bali
  • The travel lane with India will also be extended to all Indian cities
  • A total of 456,215 travellers have entered Singapore under the scheme

SINGAPORE — Singapore will launch new quarantine-free travel lanes this month with Greece and Vietnam, and also expand its vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme to Penang in Malaysia, Bali in Indonesia and all cities in India.

Travellers from Greece and Vietnam may enter Singapore under the vaccinated travel lane from March 16, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Friday (March 4).

The authority said that with the addition of Greece to the arrangement, where vaccinated travellers have to take Covid-19 tests in place of serving quarantine, Singapore will have established two-way travel with all countries in Europe that have direct flights here.

Singapore’s travel lane with Vietnam, which plans to reopen its borders for international tourism from March 15, will also restore two-way travel between the two countries, CAAS added.

Travellers from Greece and Vietnam may apply for vaccinated travel passes into Singapore from March 13 at 10am.

Short-term visitors and work permit holders must apply for these passes to enter Singapore under the arrangement. Children aged 12 years and below do not need to apply for a pass.

To make it more flexible for travellers from Europe, CAAS said that it will, from March 16, broaden the travel history requirement for the travel lane scheme to include the entire European Economic Area (EEA).

The area, which consists of the 27 European Union member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, allows the free movement of persons between these countries.

Travellers who have been in any country in the EEA, including any transit stops, within the last seven consecutive days prior to departure to Singapore, may count their stay in the EEA country towards fulfilling the seven-day travel history requirement, CAAS added.

MORE AIR LINKS TO REGION

From March 16, Singapore’s travel lane with Malaysia will extend beyond Kuala Lumpur to include Penang, starting with four daily flights each way between Singapore and Penang.

The travel lane with Indonesia will also extend from the same day beyond Jakarta to include Bali, starting with two daily flights from Bali to Singapore.

The travel lane with India will also extend beyond Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to include all Indian cities.

Airlines that plan to operate from these locations may submit their plans for designated flights to CAAS for approval, the authority added.

In a Facebook post, Transport Minister S Iswaran said that as at Feb 23, more than 80,000 travellers from Malaysia have entered Singapore from Kuala Lumpur International Airport under the air travel arrangement.

“Indonesia plans to launch a trial to allow vaccinated travellers to enter Bali from mid-March. We will likewise extend the VTL (Air) to Bali from March 16,” he added.

“Taken together, the VTLs with Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam will deepen connectivity with our Asean (Association of Southeast Asian) neighbours, with whom we have longstanding economic and people-to-people ties.” 

RECLAIMING AIR HUB STATUS

CAAS said that it was taking steps to expand the travel lane scheme to “reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s position as a premier air hub”.

It added that the programme has allowed the country to “reopen our borders safely while managing public health risks”.

Singapore has established travel lanes with 30 countries or regions since Sept 8 last year.

As of 11.59pm on Thursday, CAAS said that it has issued 348,518 travel passes for entry into Singapore between Sept 8 last year and March 16.

A total of 456,215 travellers have entered Singapore under the scheme. They comprised:

  • 132,099 short-term visitors
  • 119,289 long-term pass holders and in-principal approval holders
  • 167,380 Singaporeans and permanent residents
  • 37,447 children aged 12 years and below

Related topics

VTL Penang Bali Greece travel CAAS

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