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…
The entry requirements are as follows for…
Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs):
SG’s borders remain open to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. All other travellers who wish to enter Singapore must obtain approval from the relevant authorities.
Singapore residents are not required to obtain any approvals to return to Singapore. However, they are required to submit a health declaration within three days prior to the date of arrival. The health declaration can be submitted via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service.
SG Pass Holders (including In-Principal Approval holders):
- All Long-Term Visitor’s Pass and Dependent’s Passholders must obtain the ICA’s (International Checkpoints Authority) approval by submitting an application for entry before entering Singapore.
- All Student Pass holders must obtain permission from the Ministry of Education by submitting an application to the respective educational institutions.
- All Work Pass holders, including dependents and those with in-principle approval (IPA), must seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower.
If permission is granted, applicants will be issued an approval letter of entry. They must produce this letter to airline staff upon check-in at the departure airport, and to the ICA officer at the checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.
*Important note to all returning residents: if you have travelled out of Singapore before 27 March 2020 – all screening tests and Stay-Home Notices (SHNs) expenses will be covered by the Government. However, if you have left Singapore after 27 March 2020, all expenses must be borne by the traveller.
If you want to live and work in Singapore, it’s essential to obtain a valid work visa from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Fortunately, The Finder‘s very own parent company, Moovaz Innovation, is an expert in helping individuals and families move across the globe. Check out its detailed explanations of the requirements for various work visas in Singapore.
Key points to note before moving here:
- Liaise with your mover and book your packing day in advance. Due to Covid-19 regulations and health measurements, there might be slight delays in the process.
- Check with your apartment or condominium estates management if there are activity restrictions due to Covid. This will help to avoid delays or additional charges for packing.
- Factor in transit time and expect potential post-customs delays, as different organisations and countries have their own regulations during this period.
- Expect delayed responses from various parties or vendors during your relocation as operations are affected by Covid regulations.
- Expect to produce additional documents for clearance (especially for goods and personnel entering the country) due to Covid screening or regulations
Want to know more? Visit Moovaz’s website for tips about moving to SG during Covid, such as it’s never “too early” to pack!
The Singapore borders are currently closed to all short-term visitors unless they posses:
- An Air Travel Pass; or SafeTravel Pass under the Green/Fast lane arrangements. (For detailed information on the types of International Safe Travel Passes available as well as their corresponding application processes and conditions, please refer to the SafeTravel website.)
- Hong Kong (with effect from 22 November 2020)
Due to the new Air Travel Bubble (ATB) between Singapore and Hong Kong, travellers of all types (including short-term visitors) are allowed into SG if they test negative for Covid-19 (via a PCR test) at least 72 hours before arrival. Once tested negative, travellers from Hong Kong need not serve SHNs but will be required to download SG’s TraceTogether application for contact-tracing purposes for their entire stay in SG. [**Update: as of 23 November 2020, due to the rising number of cases in Hong Kong, the Air Travel Bubble has been postponed. Stay tuned for more updates.]
- Hong Kong (with effect from 22 November 2020)
- In unique cases, short-term visits may be permitted upon application for entry into Singapore, including if the individual is:
- An immediate family member or relative of a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR);
- A spouse-to-be of a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore PR; or
- A non-resident who has extenuating reasons to enter Singapore (e.g. death of a family member in Singapore).
If you arrive in Singapore without the Air Travel Pass/SafeTravel Pass or the approval letter of entry, you will be refused entry and have to bear the cost for the flight out of Singapore.
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 expense – either 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]
|1. Australia [excluding |
3. Macau SAR
4. Mainland China
5. New Zealand
6. Republic of Korea
|Allowed entry: ||Allowed entry: ||Not allowed entry, unless with valid approval letter for entry: |
|All other countries/places||Allowed entry: ||Allowed entry: ||Not allowed entry, unless with valid approval letter for entry: |
|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.|
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.
Relocating soon? Get a free consultation with The Finder’s trusted relocation partner!
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By Willaine G. Tan, November 2020 / Images: 123RF.com
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