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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Singapore lifts curbs with a caveat: What are the latest rules?

Singapore has lifted its ban on travel for citizens of India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka from October 26. What are the new guidelines?

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 26, 2021 11:01:16 am
Singapore, Singapore travel restrictions, Singapore travel rules explained, Singapore travel ban, India Singapore flight, countries indians can go to, singapore news, singapore covid cases, Indian ExpressThe new rules come into effect from October 26. (Photo: Reuters)

Singapore has lifted its ban on travel for citizens of India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka from October 26, meaning that people having a 14-day travel history to these countries will be allowed to enter the city-state. However, the Singapore government has said that the travellers from these countries will have to go through its Category IV border measures.

What are Category IV border measures and what does it mean for Indian travellers?

Under this category, which is the strictest of the four restriction levels in Singapore, only citizens and permanent residents of Singapore, and travellers under the Death and Critical Illness Emergency Visits Lane are allowed entry.

All other travellers, including ones who have received prior entry approvals, are not allowed to enter Singapore. Further, eligible travellers will have to undertake a Covid-19 RT-PCR test not more than 48 hours ahead of departure, go through another test upon arrival in Singapore and stay at a dedicated quarantine facility for 10 days.

Why has Singapore made these relaxations now?

In a statement, the Singapore Ministry of Health said: “We had previously announced that all travellers with a 14-day travel history to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. We have reviewed the Covid-19 situation in these countries, and all travellers with a 14-day travel history to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka prior to departure to Singapore will be allowed to enter and transit through Singapore from 26 October 2021, 23:59 hours. These travellers will be subject to Category IV border measures”.

Does Singapore allow travellers from other countries?

Yes, the city-state has allowed people to come in from other countries where the Covid-19 situation is under control. Notably, to beat the ban on travellers from India, those wanting to return to Singapore from India were spending 14 days in a third country before flying to Singapore.

In August, Singapore also introduced vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) with Germany and Brunei Darussalam. VTLs are basically extensions of travel corridors albeit only for travellers who have been fully vaccinated. VTLs have now been extended to Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Canada, the US, and South Korea.

Which countries are allowing travel from India?

A number of other countries, including the UAE, Germany, Spain, Maldives, Turkey, Thailand, etc, are allowing Indian travellers to some extent. Last month, the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi announced that travellers flying to Turkey from India will no longer have to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival as long as they are fully vaccinated. In August, Germany re-classified India to “high (Covid) incidence areas”, down from the higher travel restriction level of “virus variant areas”. With this, it removed the entry ban for travellers from India. Spain is also allowing fully-vaccinated tourists from India.

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