Is it safe to travel to Singapore? New COVID-19 protocols

Is it safe to travel: Singapore

The modern metropolis of Singapore has taken strides to adapt to a new normal amidst COVID-19, paving the way for an eventual revival in tourism. The clean-and-green city is already welcoming certain travelers from select countries through its borders. Here’s what to know about the country’s safety protocols.
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⚠️ Update: November 11, 2021

Entry conditions for international travelers

Singapore has implemented Safe Travel Lanes to facilitate travel to and from several countries. Entry requirements of each Safe Travel Lane differ depending on the traveler’s recent travel history and traveler profile. Visit Singapore’s SafeTravel website for more details.

Fully vaccinated travelers from the following countries may take advantage of Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL): Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

If you are eligible to enter Singapore via the VTL, you do not need to quarantine upon arrival.

Domestic restrictions

Most businesses are allowed to operate with safety measures and capacity limitations in place.

Dining in at restaurants is permitted, capped at two people per table or up to five people from the same household per group. Diners must be fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 has transformed travel as we know it. With many borders in Asia still closed and plenty of vacation-goers taking a cautious approach to travel, going overseas can be a tricky affair. Thankfully, in direct response to the pandemic, a growing number of countries have been making big changes to entry conditions and safety procedures. Singapore is one such example. While the country slowly settles into a state of normalcy amidst new safety regulations, it is also slowly reopening its borders to certain travelers. Here, we seek to answer the important question: Is it safe to travel to Singapore amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Read on to find out what the Southeast Asian country is doing to make everyone feel comfortable in light of the situation.

Singapore Jewel Changi Airport
Image by Darren Nunis via Unsplash

Who can enter Singapore for leisure travel?

Fully vaccinated travelers from the following countries may enter Singapore via the implemented Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL): Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

If you are eligible to enter Singapore via the VTL, you do not need to quarantine upon arrival.

Entry requirements for other travelers differ depending on the traveler’s recent travel history and traveler profile. Visit the SafeTravel website to learn what is required if you decide to travel into Singapore via other Travel Lanes.

Flying into Singapore: Safety at Changi Airport

Ready to fly? To ensure smooth air travel on your journey, it’s worth taking note of additional protocols implemented at Singapore Changi Airport.

Screening of all inbound passengers: Passengers on all arrival flights are subject to non-invasive temperature screening procedures at aerobridges to identify unwell passengers. Travelers who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will be attended to by a doctor on duty and may be conveyed to a hospital for a follow-up.

Singapore Changi Airport has gone the extra mile to ensure all visitors feel safe and comfortable. In addition to installing 1,200 hand sanitizers across the airport and deploying carpet cleaning robots armed with disinfectant, many innovative features have also been implemented, including:

  • UV-C lights that sanitize escalator handrails
  • Proximity sensors at check-in kiosks that eliminate the need for physical contact with touchscreens
  • Upgraded facial and iris recognition biometric systems at auto-clearance immigration lanes that eliminate fingerprint scanning
  • Protective long-lasting antimicrobial coating sprayed onto frequently-touched surfaces such as trolleys, security trays, and lift buttons

While moving around Singapore Changi Airport, travelers should follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a face mask at all times
  • Observe safe social distancing and adhere to markings on the floors when queuing
  • Adhere to alternating seating arrangements marked out at restaurants, lounges, and boarding gate seating areas

Look out for the SG Clean quality mark

Is it safe to travel to Singapore? — SG Clean

Singapore rolled out its SG Clean certification to raise hygiene standards and transform cleanliness levels of accessible public spaces. Awarded to businesses and agencies across the island, the certification and its quality mark will help patrons identify establishments that have adopted good sanitation and hygiene practices. Within the first month of the campaign, more than 5,000 premises were certified. From hawker centers to shopping malls, airline lounges to hotels, be sure to look out for the mark wherever you go. Click here for a list of all certified premises in Singapore.

Around the island: General health and safety measures

These general health and safety rules should be followed while moving around in public spaces:

  • Face masks are mandatory when you visit all public areas, including shopping malls, retail shops, food establishments, parks, tourist attractions, and on trains and buses
  • Exceptions: You are not required to wear a mask while doing strenuous physical activities such as running, jogging, and cycling
  • There are gathering limits in place
  • Social distancing of at least 1 meter must be observed

SafeEntry QR Code: Check-in procedures at malls, shops, and food establishments

All visitors who enter venues around the island must use the SafeEntry national digital check-in system to allow for effective contact tracing. Remember to check out once you leave the premises.

Transportation — trains, buses, and ride-hailing services

Trains, buses, taxis, and ride-hailing services such as Grab and Gojek remain operational with increased health and safety measures. Public transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit have ramped up cleaning efforts to ensure all vehicles and high-touch surfaces are cleaned at a higher frequency. Visitors entering MRT stations are encouraged to check in via the SafeEntry system before hopping on a train.

Hotels and resorts

Accommodation options are plentiful in Singapore, from relaxing resorts close to Sentosa’s beaches to luxury hotels in the heart of town. Many providers have already reopened for staycations, taking care to implement extra protocols for guest safety. Capella Singapore, for example, has been working hard to safeguard against COVID-19 under rigorous new health, hygiene, and safety standards. Many others have followed suit in the safety department, such as the iconic Raffles Hotel, and the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.

Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari, Jurong Bird Park

Singapore’s award-winning wildlife parks, managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), have long been regarded as the best in Asia. Well-manicured and spacious, the Singapore Zoo and its sister parks sit amongst sprawling forested gardens that house many delightful creatures, from chittering otters to docile tapirs. Having reopened to the public at a limited capacity, you’ll need to pre-book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment!

These are some preventative and protective measures implemented by Wildlife Reserves Singapore for your safety:

  • All visitors are required to pre-book tickets online, indicating the date and time they would like to visit
  • The Night Safari will only be open from Thursdays to Sundays, under shorter operating hours from 7 pm to 11 pm
  • Parks have capacity limits — arrive no later than 45 minutes from your selected time slot 
  • Masks must be worn at all times, and reusable masks are also made available for purchase at retail shops
  • Some high-touch and high-proximity exhibits and experiences have been temporarily closed to keep visitors safe
  • Contactless payment is encouraged

Gardens by the Bay

Few things encapsulate Singapore more than the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, which glow a multitude of colors at night. The lush and futuristic grounds are also home to majestic indoor temperature-controlled conservatories. Escape from the heavy tropical heat and head into the rainbow world of the Flower Dome, where it is perpetually spring and its many themed gardens are always in bloom. If you’re up for a vertical climb, the mist-veiled world of the Cloud Forest will intrigue you with its 35-meter manmade mountain covered in walkways and plant life. Don’t forget to take a photo of the striking indoor waterfall in all its glory!

These are some preventative and protective measures implemented by Gardens by the Bay for your safety:

  • Before visiting ticketed areas such as the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, visitors are required to pre-book their timed-entry tickets online or via the Gardens by the Bay Mobile App for effective safe distancing and crowd regulation
  • Visitors must check into the venue via the SafeEntry system and mandatory temperature screening is conducted at entrances
  • Face masks must be worn at all times, including while taking photographs
  • Air-chilling systems in conservatories are quipped with high-performance germicidal UV-C lights to improve air quality
  • Hand sanitizers are made available at all entrances, exits, and high-contact areas

Here’s some history for you. Before it was converted into the ambitious National Gallery Singapore, this palatial architectural marvel housed the country’s City Hall and Supreme Court. Today, the building is where you’ll find a large collection of paintings and sculptures from around Southeast Asia. Located in the Downtown Core district, the gallery remains a quiet and peaceful venue for art-lovers who want to escape the buzzing atmosphere of the city without having to go far.

These are some preventative and protective measures implemented by National Gallery Singapore for your safety:

  • Visitors are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets online before visiting the gallery for quicker redemption of passes at ticketing counters
  • Visitors must check into the venue via the SafeEntry system and mandatory temperature screening is conducted at entrances
  • Masks must be worn at all times on the premises
  • Floor markers and barriers are used to facilitate safe distancing
  • All interactive exhibitions have been suspended temporarily
  • Opening hours have been revised, and a capacity limit is in effect
  • Cleaning and disinfection frequency is increased, particularly for high-touch areas such as door handles and railings

Sentosa Island

Off the mainland to the south, Sentosa Island houses some of Singapore’s most enticing attractions. This includes Universal Studios Singapore and the S.E.A. Aquarium, alongside a smorgasbord of restaurants and hotels at Resorts World Sentosa, as well as lovely beaches and beach clubs to unwind at. As a hub for tourist activities, the island has made some necessary safe management changes, such as:

  • Implementing controlled entry and exit points for guests who visit Tanjong Beach, Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach, and Palawan Green
  • Implementing queue management systems and floor markings to ensure safe distancing
  • Encouraging patrons to make restaurant reservations in advance to eliminate the need for queuing
  • Ensuring SafeEntry system check-in and mandatory temperature screening is conducted at all entrances
  • Increasing frequency of cleaning and disinfecting at all high-traffic and high-touch areas

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the country’s first UNESCO Heritage Site. Boasting sprawling grounds perfect for recreational activities like yoga and picnic outings, there are also several botanical-related exhibits and themed gardens that are worth checking out. Plant hobbyists will appreciate a visit to the National Orchid Garden, which houses over 60,000 plants, including the world’s largest orchid display.

While the Singapore Botanic Gardens is now open to the public, there are certain restrictions in place:

  • Feeding of wildlife (fish, swans, birds, turtles, etc) is not allowed 
  • Group sizes of more than 8 people are not allowed. 
  • A distance of at least 1 meter should be maintained between other groups
  • If exercising, a distance of at least 3 meters should be maintained
  • All visitors must wear a mask if they are not engaging in strenuous exercise

Know of more protocols that answer the question is it safe to travel to Singapore? Share them with us!


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