Disclaimer: The travel rules and official government instructions are changing rapidly during the pandemic times and this article might NOT be up to date within a matter of hours. Therefore, you should always double-check the information with local authorities or your embassy in a given destination. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel during pandemic.
Singapore started slowly reopening its borders on Sept. 1 to business travelers and visitors from 4 countries. At the moment Singapore’s green list includes Brunei, New Zealand, Australia, and Vietnam.
The Republic of Singapore is a modern city-state on an island in Southeast Asia. In addition to the main island, there are 64 smaller ones. A former Crown Colony of the British Empire, Singapore became independent in 1965.
It’s a multiracial country with four official languages – English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. Its multiculturalism makes it a fascinating place for travelers to visit.
On October 1, the Air Travel Pass green list of countries was extended with Vietnam and Australia. All visitors will need to undergo PCR test on arrival and stay at their hotel until they receive a negative result. (Source)
As of the 12th of October, Singapore has 57,880 COVID cases and only 27 deaths caused by the virus. There are around 10 new daily cases at the moment.
On September 2, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore and the Republic of Korea (ROK) agreed on creating FAST LANE between both countries for the essential or business travels in order to start resuming the economic activities. (source)
Air Travel Pass – Singapore
Singapore Ministry of Health has officially announced reopening borders to international travelers from the 1st of September but followed up with very strict rules.
Passengers arriving from low-risk countries can enter Singapore without 14-days quarantine but they have to get tested at the arrival. At the moment this list only includes 4 green-list countries:
Australia (added on OCT 1)
Vietnam (added on OCT 1)
Following information was up to date, as of 21 of August
Singapore Opening Border with Malaysia
After long 5 months, Malaysians who were stuck in Singapore can go home and visit their country but a negative Covid-19 test is required! More info here.
The impact of the Coronavirus on Singapore
As can be seen from the data, Singapore’s death toll has been very low. While it’s had almost 56,000 cases of Covid-19, it’s only had 27 deaths.
As can be seen in analysis, this gives Singapore one of the lowest rates of in the world, with only 0.48 per 100,000 dying from the virus. This is in sharp contrast to European countries such as the United Kingdom or Spain, with death rates of over 60/100,000.
This has been exacerbated due to the recent resurgence of the virus in Vietnam and Japan.
However, Singapore is considering allowing tourists from South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and some European countries to have easier access via reciprocal arrangements.
Requirements for Entry
Citizens and permanent residents of Singapore can return home. Anyone else has to apply for approval. The process is easier for Chinese nationals who have “Fast Lane” access.
Essential business travelers must contact the Ministry of Manpower and those who need to travel to Singapore for other urgent reasons must go through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
Travelers who are approved will receive an official letter that they must show an immigration officer upon arrival in Singapore.
All travelers are required to submit (within 3 days of arrival) an electronic health declaration. They are also required to serve a 14-day quarantine upon entering the country. At the end of that period, they will be tested for Covid-19.
Currently, anyone entering Singapore must wear an electronic monitoring device during this time.
In addition to this initial quarantine, be aware that if you travel to Singapore and are exposed to the virus, even if you test negative for Covid-19 and have no symptoms, you will still be put under quarantine and not allowed to return home for 14 days.
How has Singapore managed the pandemic?
Singapore was one of the first countries to be affected by the virus. Chinese tourists brought it into the country in January.
The government’s response was initially measured. Restaurants, bars, theaters, and malls remained open. The government asked people to wash their hands and to stay home if sick.
Singapore’s tight social and government controls were used to trace, monitor and isolate people. Anyone who did not cooperate with health officials was severely punished. Breaking quarantine resulted in jail time as well as passport suspensions and other draconian measures.
In April there was a surge in cases among Singapore’s foreign workforce. These migrant laborers who often live in crowded conditions. The government, therefore, imposed stricter measures. Schools and most businesses were closed and masks became mandatory.
By mid-June, the number of cases had dropped dramatically and Singapore gradually opened. First retail outlets, restaurants, and movie theaters were opened, though with strict social distancing.
Then religious services with crowds of up to 50 people were allowed. As the rate of infection continued to drop, gatherings of up to 100 people were allowed. The government is now working to open up the economy even further and assist migrant laborers to return to their jobs.
Why Visit Singapore?
Some people visit Singapore just to eat. The island nation has 44 Michelin-starred restaurants and flavors from all over the world. If you’re dining on a budget, you can still eat amazingly well by enjoy the street food. You’ll commonly find dishes from China, Malaysia, and India among the local hawkers.
Then there are the many festivals, which also give you an opportunity to try different cuisines. In particular, there is the Singapore Food Festival and the Singapore Cocktail Festival for gourmets from around the world.
There are also music and sports festivals – and the city never sleeps, so if you are a fan of the nightlife, this is a great place for you.
You can also enjoy the art scene by visiting the many galleries as well as museums and enjoy many cultural events.
If you like to shop – Singapore is a fashionista’s paradise. Here you’ll find every name brand as well as lesser known gems so you can add a unique touch.
There are also green spaces, great beaches, and a fantastic Universal Studios theme park. All of it is easily accessible via public transport, and everything is safe and very clean. Basically, Singapore is the ultimate adult playground. It’s also a wonderful hub if you’d like to visit other parts of Asia.
Singapore is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime, but given the severity of the government’s response to the pandemic, now is not the time to go.
However, it should be on your bucket list for once the coronavirus is a thing of the past.