SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): More than 2,000 travellers have been granted a pass to enter Singapore under a quarantine-free travel scheme, after the first day of applications opening for visitors from eight countries.
The 2,409 successful applicants under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) comprise 724 short-term visitors and 1,685 long-term pass holders.
Among these vaccinated travellers, those from the United Kingdom were the largest group with 976 successful applicants as at 11.59pm on Tuesday (Oct 12).
There were 537 successful applicants from France and 440 successful applicants from the United States, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday.
Applications had opened for travellers from eight countries – Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the United States – at 10am on Oct 12, for travellers to enter Singapore on or after Oct 19.
Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders have to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass to enter Singapore under the VTL scheme. Fully vaccinated Singapore citizens and permanent residents can tap the VTL scheme without applying for the pass.
Children aged 12 and below also do not have to apply for a pass to enter Singapore under the VTL.
The extension of quarantine-free travel to the eight countries from next Tuesday (Oct 19) is Singapore’s biggest step toward reopening its borders to date since the pandemic shut down travel in March last year.
CAAS said the passes issued will let travellers enter Singapore between Oct 19 and Nov 17.
Its director-general Han Kok Juan said: “We are heartened by the good take-up and expect numbers to grow towards the end of the year.
“We urge all travellers to exercise care and concern, especially those who travel with young children.”
Under the VTL, there are no restrictions on the purpose of travel. Instead of having to go for a stay-home notice, travellers will be required to take just a pre-departure Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction swab test, and another test on arrival in Singapore.
Singapore had last month started the VTL scheme for travellers arriving from Germany and Brunei.