Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes: Bye Bye COVID-Zero Strategy

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SINGAPORE – The first country to go from adopting a COVID-zero strategy when dealing with the virus to now, allowing it to become an endemic within the country.

While addressing the country on Thursday August 19, Minister for Transport Mr S Iswaran said, “we are making the transition towards a COVID-resilient nation”. There is little hope to eradicate the virus completely in the near future, as such the goal is for the nation to be fully vaccinated against the virus and still go about their day to day as usual. Over 76% of the country is fully vaccinated, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

“We are reopening in a careful and calibrated manner, striking a balance that would protect lives and livelihood,” he said. While Singapore starts reopening its borders to countries and regions that fall within the four different categories (based on risk-based assessment), here are certain things to note:

Image credit: Amos Alexander

Reopening the borders will be done through meticulous planning, continued observation and risk assessment to ensure that it is done as safely as possible.

Mr S Iswaran said, “Approved VTL travellers can enter Singapore from the 8th of September onwards”. He has also mentioned this is for all travel, for those who are fully vaccinated (that means 14 days after receiving all doses required for a vaccine from a list of the approved COVID-19 vaccines) coming from Germany or Brunei.

They do need to provide proof so that their vaccination status can be verified prior to entering Singapore. Even without having to serve a stay home notice (SHN), “they will be subjected to a rigorous testing regime,” Mr S Iswaran said.

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