After one and a half years, Singapore is opening up to travellers again. Special VTL flights for vaccinated persons only make it possible. But the conditions and the administrative requirements until the start are enormous.
Singapore Airlines is the first airline to open a “Vaccinated Travel Lane” (VTL) between Germany and the city state in Southeast Asia. It is Singapore’s first opening worldwide for all forms of travel, not only for business travellers, but finally also for tourists.
Those who are fully vaccinated and meet all the criteria for the “travel corridor for vaccinated persons” – the free translation for VTL – no longer have to go through the fourteen-day quarantine after landing and are allowed to move freely in Singapore. But he has to undergo many PCR tests and fill out time-consuming digital forms, which I have never experienced before when preparing for a trip. There are also considerable additional costs.
Most important document: the VTL passport
The first thing I have to do is fill out the application for the Vaccinated Travel Passport, for which I first confirm my email address and upload the usual details such as name, passport data, planned travel time, hotel stay as well as my vaccination certificate, which turns out to be far more complicated than I suspected.
Prepaid insurance and PCR tests
But the procedure is not yet complete. To complete the application, I still have to pay in advance by credit card for the PCR test, which is compulsory when entering Singapore. That’s 194.07 Singapore dollars.
In addition, every VTL traveller needs a Corona insurance policy with Changi Insurance, which also covers treatment costs up to 30,000 Singapore dollars.
I then book the required PCR test before departure for 59 euros, which I have to show at the Frankfurt check-in. This must be done 48 hours before departure at the earliest.
To the PCR test 48 hours before departure
One day before departure, I set off for Hamburg Airport. It only takes two minutes to complete the paperwork and throat swab.
In the evening, I can log on to the Centogene portal and call up the result: negative. I can also print out the certificate in English (required) and Mandarin.
Then I thought I had cleared all the hurdles before departure. But on the day of departure, I receive an email that I have to download the Trace Together App onto my smartphone and fill out the Singapore Arrival Card on the web before departure. Again, I have to enter all my personal data, including my hotel stay.
I still have to give an account of all the countries I have travelled to in the last 21 days, including all the German federal states that are displayed in the pull-down menu. I am then asked half a dozen questions about my state of health, whether I have a fever or Covid-like symptoms. And I am supposed to upload the result of my current PCR test.