How To Travel To Singapore DURING The Covid-19 Pandemic

Here's a travel guide on everything to expect when you return or move to SG – from Covid-19 swab tests to the mandatory quarantine.
29 October 2020

Travel for leisure is largely discouraged during Covid-19. But what if you’re planning your return or even moving to this little island at this time?

We’ve rounded up all of the latest travel information and guidelines on how to actually get into Singapore during Covid-19 and what to expect once you arrive!

What To Expect When You Travel To Singapore During Covid-19

Because the rules vary, here’s what to know if you are…

Upon Arrival

Travellers or returning residents who’ve travelled to the Philippines, Indonesia and India within the last 14 days will need to present a valid negative Covid-19 test before entering SG. Otherwise, all other travellers have to undergo a Covid-19 Swab Test – at their own expenseeither upon arrival or during their respective Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Upon arrival in Singapore, you will most likely be required to serve a SHN during immigration clearance. To ensure smooth clearance, please present the following documents to the immigration officer:

  • Passport/Travel Document that is valid for at least six months
  • SG Arrival Card acknowledgement email
  • Approval Letter of Entry from the relevant authority (if applicable)
  • SafeTravel Pass / Periodic Commuting Arrangement Pass / Air Travel Pass (if applicable)
  • Long-Term pass (In-Principle Approval) letter (if applicable)
  • Valid Singapore visa (if applicable)

Consult the handy chart below from the International Checkpoints Authority (ICA) about Singapore’s Covid-19 travel measures for inbound travellers, based on the countries they have visited. And, for even more information on re-entering SG, refer to the ICA’s entering and departing requirements.

Travel history in the last 14 days                                     Residents (Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents) Long-term Pass holders/
In-Principle Approval (IPA) holders1 [with valid approval letter for entry2]
Short-term visitors
1. Australia [excluding
Victoria state]3
2.Brunei Darussalam
3. Macau SAR
4. Mainland China
5. New Zealand
6. Republic of Korea
7. Taiwan
8. Vietnam
Allowed entry:

  • Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at own accommodation
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable4)
Allowed entry:

  • SHN at own accommodation
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
Not allowed entry, unless with valid approval letter for entry:

  • SHN at own accommodation
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
All other countries/places Allowed entry:

  • SHN at SHN Dedicated Facility (SDF)5
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable4)
Allowed entry:

  • SHN at SDF (chargeable)
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
Not allowed entry, unless with valid approval letter for entry:

  • SHN at SDF (chargeable)
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
Entry under SafeTravel
(e.g. Fast Lane / Reciprocal Green Lane / Periodic Commuting Arrangement)
Please refer to the SafeTravel Website for Covid-19 travel information on the respective schemes.

Go here for important notes about this chart. If you’re unsure about your status, consult the ICA’s Covid arrival rules at this website.

About Serving a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

As of 1 September 2020, this quarantine period applies to all Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders who travel to Singapore during Covid-19. But you may be wondering…

What is a SHN exactly?
All persons arriving in Singapore, regardless of nationality, are subject to mandatory SHNs. These are basically quarantining in an assigned place. Meaning? You are not allowed outside of your room regardless of the reason. Don’t worry, food and other necessities will be delivered right to your door, and your loved ones are welcome to send you food packages as well – but no visits!

Individuals who breach their SHN may be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. First-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months or both. Yeah, SG means business. (This explains everything you need to know about SHNs.) 

Where is it done?
Depending on where you’re coming from, you may be required to stay in a dedicated facility for 14 days – you will be informed of the location during your arrival. However, if you travelling from any of the six countries noted below (scroll down), you may be allowed to serve your SHN at your own accommodation.
The individual cost of accommodation must be borne by all travellers. 

Want to hear from people who’ve experienced quarantine in SG? Check out the “Singapore Hotel Quarantine Information & Experience” Facebook group.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Also as of 1 September 2020, the following SHN exceptions apply to SG Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders who travel to Singapore during Covid-19:

  • Those arriving from Brunei and New Zealand will not have to serve SHN but will have to undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival. 
  • Those from Australia (except Victoria), Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia who stayed in these countries in the last 14 days prior to entry to SG has to serve a 7-day SHN in their own homes. (As of 1 Sep 2020).
  • From 4 November 2020, travelers from Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey may opt to serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence IF they fulfill the following criteria:
    • Traveled to no other country than the above-mentioned in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry; and
    • Are occupying their place of residence alone, or only with household members who are also serving SHN with the same travel history and duration of SHN.

(Note: Information has been compiled from the following official websites: International Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).)

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By Willaine G. Tan, November 2020 / Images: 123RF.com

Like this? Read about more ways to Live Well in SG, and read our digital magazine.

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