Singapore Scrapping Nearly All Travel Rules, Even Texans Can Visit Without Arrival Testing

Singapore will remove most pandemic restrictions April 1. Vaccinated travelers will be able to visit, arriving on any flight and any airline, and no testing on arrival will be required. Scrapping of pre-departure testing is under consideration, and no booster shots will be required.

Paper Vaccine Cards Accepted, And Prior Infection Counts As A Vaccine Dose

Perhaps the most underreported element of Singapore’s re-opening is that they’ll begin accepting paper vaccination records. Under their old ‘Vaccinated Travel Lane’ scheme the country required electronic vaccination records using the SMART health standard. Only some U.S. states and providers meet that.

If you got vaccinated at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid or Albertsons you can obtain digital proof even if you don’t live in a state like Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado or Hawaii. I was vaccinated by a local provider in Texas that does not participate and Texas itself doesn’t either.

Singapore accepts any WHO-approved vaccine and count documented prior infection as a vaccine dose (they follow the science). Children 12 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Additional Rules Scrapped

While Singapore will no longer require testing on arrival, a test within 2 days prior to travel is still required – a rule that may be scrapped in two to four weeks as well. Visitors will no longer need a Vaccinated Travel Pass, either, but will need travel insurance with S$30,000 coverage.

Mask-wearing outdoors will no longer be compulsory, either, though masks will still be required indoors and group sizes limited to 10 (up from 5).

Necessary To Bring Back Normal Life

Travel to Singapore is currently at only 18% of pre-pandemic levels. Singapore is coming down off of its Omicron wave, and restrictions neither kept out the variant nor suppressed it – and people traveling on connecting flights to the flights allowed to carry passengers into the country could interact with passegners headed to Singapore without any of the country’s restrictions. Already people might pick up Covid-19 enroute to Singapore and still test negative on arrival. Yet Singapore is at the point it can manage life with the virus without overwhelming its health care system.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Countries have no choice but to accept US paper certificates if they want to reopen their economics – which also points out that the US does not need to change to nationalized digital vaccine records as some argued was inevitable.

  2. I spent 15 days in Singapore over Christmas for purely tourism reasons visiting from Texas.

    The list of vaccine providers that are part of the SMART program is much more exhaustive than the commercial stores you mention. For example, I found most of the big hospital and healthcare systems in Texas and across the U.S. we’re part of the SMART program and I was easily able to get the digital vaccination proof that integrated with Singapore’s online program.

    Singapore was great over Christmas and life was back to normal as long as you wore a mask and used the required contact tracing app. These changes will just make it even easier and better.

  3. @Tim Dunn: the perfect example of why Ugly American came about. Of course, the world could survive without Americans, right? I guess my question is: are you ignorant to how you come across, are you intentionally this big of a jerk? Please share.

  4. most of the afraid are vaccinated. who wants to go to a place where most of what happens is inside…with masks.

  5. Getting a digital proof of vaccination with QR code will be a fact of life for Americans to visit some countries for a while, at least. I find it frustrating that I can’t get it now because of where I was vaccinated. If there’s another booster I will definitely go and get a J&J somewhere that I can get digital proof.

  6. @DaveS – there are a number of workarounds such as registering a free profile at Kaiser Permanente if Washington and submitting your vaccine record to get the QR code.

    We are in Singapore for a four week stay, a return from our November visit. Shangri-La using FHR credits is highly recommended, a magical place distinct from all the other city hotels.

    @whocares – the mask thing is such a minor inconvenience that it is not even remarked on at this point. If that prevents you from having a good time, a lot of things will.

  7. @ DaveS – The vaccine manufacturer doesn’t determine if you’ll get digital proof of vaccination or not.

  8. @Stafan – Thanks for the tip. I’ll look into that for sure.
    @Daniel – It’s not the type of vaccine (I got Moderna); it’s the fact that my employer set up a vaccine clinic on the premises, which is great theoretically, but they do not offer a way to get it recorded digitally as proof of vaccination – I checked with HR. Our state is one where the crazies are in charge and it’s more important to them to make sure a “vaccine passport” is impossible than to serve their citizens. The state department of health offers nothing.

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