Singapore Travel Bubble
An important business hub and major trading partner, the island city-state of Singapore has long been a popular destination for Australians. Like Australia, Singapore largely closed its borders when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the world. However, the Lion City has begun welcoming back international visitors through what it dubs a ‘Vaccinated Travel Lane’ (VTL) – or, in other words, a ‘Singapore Travel Bubble’. If you are vaccinated against Covid-19, there just are a few small hoops to jump through to get back to Singapore.
Singapore Travel Bubble from Australia
Australia is one of the countries that is included in Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane.
That means Singapore is open to visitors travelling from Australia, as long as they are vaccinated against Covid-19 and have spent the past seven days in Australia or another Vaccinated Travel Lane-approved country.
What is the Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VLT)?
The Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane allows quarantine-free travel to Singapore for visitors flying to the city-state.
The list of countries included in the Vaccinated Travel Lane is constantly being updated on the Singapore government’s Safe Travel website.
As of February 22, 2022, travellers looking to use the Singapore travel bubble need meet the following requirements before boarding their flight:
- Be fully vaccinated with two shots of a World Health Organisation-approved vaccine (one shot of Johnson & Johnson) at least two weeks before arrival to Singapore. Unvaccinated travellers who are 12 and below in this calendar year are exempt from this requirement if accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.
- Hold a travel insurance policy with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for Covid-19 related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs (required for all short-term visitors)
- Hold accepted proof of vaccination in English, which includes Australia’s International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate.
- Apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass, which allows entry to Singapore for between 3 and 60 days. Applications can be made up to three days before arrival.
- Take a pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test or professionally administered Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 48 hours of departure.
Visitors also need to take a Covid-19 test on arrival to Singapore.
All travellers must conduct a supervised self-administered RAT test within 24 hours at a designated testing site.
These rapid tests cost S$15 (about AU$15.50), which is paid onsite when you take the test.
As long as you test negative on arrival, you are free to explore all Singapore has to offer, quarantine-free.
Singapore Travel Insurance
All short-term visitors to Singapore are required to hold a travel insurance policy which includes a minimum coverage of S$30,000 (about AU$31,000) for Covid-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs. Regardless of the requirement, having a good travel insurance policy that includes Covid-19 coverage is essential for international travel in the modern world. Travel insurance can protect you with cover for medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation, as well as cancellation fees, lost deposits and damage to luggage and personal effects.
Make sure your trip to Singapore is properly covered.
How to return to Australia from Singapore
Returning to Australia is more difficult than pre-pandemic times where you would just flash a passport and a plane ticket. However, it is becoming easier than it was. Inbound travellers to Australia must provide proof of vaccination and complete a Digital Passenger Declaration prior to boarding their flight. Travellers must also show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, which can either be a PCR test taken within three days of the flight’s scheduled departure or a RAT which must be taken within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure time. RAT’s need to be observed by a medical professional, though, and you need to be supplied with a document that shows the traveller’s name, date of birth, test result, method of test conducted, brand and make of the test (for RAT tests), the date and time of specimen collection and documentation that the test was carried out by or under the supervision of an authorised person.
What happens if you test positive to Covid-19 before returning to Australia?
Any travellers with positive pre-departure tests are not permitted to board their flight to Australia. You must stay overseas and follow local rules until you return a negative test.
If it has been at least seven days since a first documented positive test or if you have recovered from Covid-19 within the last 30 days before your scheduled flight, you can return to Australia if you provide a certificate from a medical practitioner stating that you have recovered and are no longer considered to be infectious.
Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Scoot and Jetstar all offer regular services from Australia to Singapore which are covered as part of the Singapore travel bubble. Singapore Airlines and Qantas are both premium airlines, while Scoot and Jetstar are their budget airline affiliates.
All flights which are part of the Singapore travel bubble land at Singapore Changi Airport, which has been awarded the title of the World’s Best Airport on multiple occasions. The large and modern airport is an attraction in itself and features art installations, an indoor Enchanted Garden, a butterfly garden, a hedge maze, a huge indoor water feature, cinemas and even a rooftop swimming pool.
For a relatively small destination, Singapore has plenty to see and do for those looking to utilise the Singapore travel bubble. The magnificent Marina Bay Sands resort complex is a must-visit and includes a viewing deck which offers some of the best views of Singapore.
Behind Marina Bay Sands is Gardens by the Bay, which is a beautiful outdoor green space.
Orchard Road is a popular shopping destination, the Singapore Zoo has plenty to see and Sentosa Island has a host of family-friendly activities as well as Universal Studios Singapore.
Don’t forget to enjoy a Singapore Sling cocktail during your visit, either. The famous Raffles Hotel Singapore is the go-to place for a drink.
Singapore enjoys a tropical year-round climate with relatively stable temperatures every month of the year. The coldest months are November and January, with average daily highs of 29 to 30 degrees Celsius (84 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
The other nine months of the year all average daily highs of 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit). The wettest months are also November to January, with an average of up to 25 days of rainfall each month.