Singapore eases restrictions for selected large-scale events; expands VTLs

Air travellers pass immigration control at Changi International Airport.

From November 15, capacity limits and zoning requirements for selected business events, performance and spectator sports events have been eased under a pilot screen, according to The Straits Times.

The selected business events are the Milken Institute Asia Summit on November 15 and 16, the Bloomberg New Economy Forum from November 16 to 19, and Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific 2021 from November 22 to 24.

Air travellers passing immigration at Changi International Airport

A maximum of 1,000 people is allowed to attend these business events if all attendees are vaccinated. Individuals who wish to attend these events will have to adhere to the country’s new protocols – a combination of vaccination-differentiated measures and pre-event testing – for additional precautions.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen rapid test (ART) results must be reflected on the TraceTogether app, or performed or supervised by the event organiser or venue operator, either in person or virtually.

These pilots will be assessed before deciding how to expand the protocol to more events and settings, as part of Singapore’s broader plan to allow safe resumption of further activities.

In addition, Singapore intends to launch Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) with travellers from Indonesia and India, starting from November 29. The nation is currently in talks with India to resume scheduled commerical services, beginning with two VTL flights each from Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Travellers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will also be able to enter Singapore from December 6, under the VTL scheme.

While vaccinated travellers from Singapore can travel without quarantine to and from India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Indonesia remains closed to general travel from Singapore.

Indonesia has already opened its borders to visitors from 19 countries, and Singapore is looking at creating two daily VTL flights between Singapore and Jakarta as a start, and go up to four.

India, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are in Category Two of the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 risk classification for border measures. The countries’ classification means they either have similar or lower Covid-19 incidence rates than Singapore and other VTL countries.

By December 6, Singapore will have a total of 21 VTLs. Thirteen VTLs are currently in effect, with three more – Malaysia, Sweden and Finland – due to start on November 29.

The Republic is also looking to reopen land links with Malaysia in a few weeks time.

With the addition of the new VTL countries, the overall daily quota of arrivals via the scheme will be increased from 6,000 to 10,000.

Travellers entering Singapore under the VTL scheme do not have to serve a stay-home notice. Instead, they have to test negative for Covid-19 two days prior to departure for Singapore, as well as upon arrival.

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