Singapore was among the first countries to respond to the spread of the COVID-19 virus by closing its borders back in March. Now that travel seems to be restored, little by little, US travelers are questioning themself if it is possible to visit Singapore. In this blog post, Airflyby Travel Blog Team will uncover the essential information about Singapore travel during the global pandemic. Read on before you buy an air ticket to Singapore.
About Changi Airport Closure and the Developing Crisis
Changi Airport is the largest hub in South-East Asia, with more than 68,3 million passengers traveling through it in 2019. But unfortunately, from the beginning of 2020, these numbers have been at a low, putting the continuous development of the airport on pause.
Only 11,3 million passengers have passed through the airport since the beginning of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted all the processes within the airport, including the financial situation. Two terminals have been closed, the construction of the new building has been postponed for two years and experts foretell that the airport will be back to the original condition no sooner than 2024.
Who Can Travel to Singapore?
Despite flight capacity being significantly less than before the global pandemic, commercial flights to Singapore are still available.
If having to transit through Singapore, you may find out that it is only possible for flights originating from certain countries/territories and using certain air carriers. You might get consulted with the chosen airlines about transit permissions through Singapore.
If you are a US citizen and a Singapore permanent resident, you are permitted to enter the country. The document that will prove your stay is the government-issued Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
Even if holding a long-term pass, you will have to get permission from the Singapore government agency in charge to cross the border. Detailed info on this subject can be found at Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority COVID-19 border control measures page. When getting approved for entry, there will be issued an SHN for you.
Short-term visitors from the US are still not permitted to enter Singapore unless they have been issued a SafeTravel Pass or have an approval letter of entry from the relevant government agency in Singapore. US citizens approved for entry will be issued an SHN.
You may apply for an extension of your pass if you are a resident with a long-term pass issued by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority or Ministry of Manpower by soliciting the services of the appropriate Singapore government agency.
US citizens who are already in Singapore on a short-term visit are not subject to the above-mentioned regulations. You can extend your stay in Singapore by applying online.
Useful COVID-19 Info Related to Singapore Travel
Do I have to provide a negative COVID-19 test?
The short answer is ‘No.’ If you are allowed to enter the country, you will have to provide the mandatory SHN. Nonetheless, COVID-19 testing is still required, but it will take place at the end of the SHN period.
Do any health screening procedures take place at Singapore airports?
The only health screening procedures are the above-mentioned mandatory SHNs and COVID-19 testing.
Are there restrictions on travel between cities and states?
You are allowed to travel within the country freely, but there are still some rules to follow. Face coverings outside the residence including in public transport, convenience stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, wet markets, and shopping malls are mandatory.
There’s a SafeEntry process for contact tracing purposes for almost all businesses. If not holding a SafeEntry, you will have to present your ID card or passport.
Do I have to stay in quarantine if I’m a US citizen?
Regardless of nationality, all Singapore visitors are subject to a mandatory SHN. So, yes, you’ll have to stay for 14 days in a dedicated facility. You will have to pay for the provided accommodation and COVID-19 testing except for the case when you are permitted to serve the SHN at your own accommodation. Nonetheless, COVID-19 testing is chargeable in either case.
Violation of a Stay-Home Notice is punishable under Singaporean law.
In Singapore, COVID-19 testing is allowed only in those cases if a doctor considers that there is a clinical need to do so, based on the person’s travel/contact history and health condition. Regardless of the fact that there are Regional Screening Centers around Singapore, you won’t be allowed to enter it for the screening without permission. If you feel unwell or have medical concerns, you should firstly contact primary care doctors and will get tested if necessary.