Singapore will extend quarantine-free vaccinated travel lanes to six more countries from next month, in a bid to rebuild the city-state’s status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity, the national aviation authority announced on Friday.
Fully vaccinated travellers from Thailand may enter Singapore under the quarantine-free travel lane (VTL) from December 14. Those coming from Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Turkey can do so from December 16, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said.
This latest move will increase the number of countries with which Singapore has VTL arrangements to 27. This latest move will increase the number of countries with which Singapore has VTL arrangements to 27.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these 27 countries contributed to about 60 per cent of the total daily arrivals at the country’s Changi Airport, CAAS said.
"This latest extension will further broaden Changi’s network and help reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity," the Channel News Asia reported quoting CAAS.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Under the VTL scheme, fully vaccinated travellers on designated VTL flights can enter Singapore without undergoing quarantine. They are only required to undergo COVID-19 testing.
"The expansion of the VTL scheme to these countries will continue to restore two-way quarantine-free travel between Singapore and VTL countries whose borders are now open to us," said CAAS.
Meanwhile, Singapore will classify Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein and Slovakia as Category III countries from 11.59pm on December 1, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a separate news release on Friday.