Fully-vaccinated Singapore residents and long-term pass holders, will no longer be required to present health declarations, after arriving at land checkpoints from 15 April, 2022.
This change is being implemented to facilitate hassle-free cross-country travel, especially for the people who commute daily for employment and studies. “Given the volume of traffic at the land checkpoints, the Government will lift the health declaration requirement for these travellers from 15 April 2022, if they meet certain conditions”, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a news release.
Currently, visitors arriving in Singapore are obligated to submit the health declaration, through the SG Arrival Card e-Service, which can be accessed on the ICA website or mobile application.
More about this declaration
The ICA says, travellers will be eligible for this exemption, under the condition that they must not have travelled to any country or region, falling under the Restricted Category, in the past seven days prior to arrival. No countries or regions are in the Restricted Category presently.
Alternatively, travellers who were not vaccinated in Singapore should make sure their updated vaccination records are transferred to the Ministry of Health (MOH) system, upon their first entry in the country.
They are allowed to submit their valid digital vaccination certificate obtained from overseas through the ICA’s Vaccination Check Portal prior to arrival. In case the traveller faces issues in doing so or if they do not have a digital overseas vaccination certificate, they are granted permission to present the physical copy of the certificate to ICA officers. This can be done at the in-person or manual immigration counters, upon arrival in Singapore.
As per the ICA, travellers who hold a vaccination certificate from another country, need to go through the process only once by transmitting their documents to MOH’s system. Once that is verified, they are free from the trouble of presenting their vaccination certificates at multiple checkpoints or locations during their subsequent trips to Singapore.
All other travellers will still be required to submit their health declaration via the SG Arrival Card e-Service, within three days before their arrival in Singapore. These include non-vaccinated Singapore residents and LTP holders, all short-term visitors, as well as all those who have a travel history to any country/region in the Restricted Category in the past seven days.
All visitors arriving via air or sea are still obligated to submit their health declarations.
Things to keep in mind ahead of the ‘Good Friday’ long weekend
Travellers who are going to use the land checkpoints during the Good Friday weekend, have been advised by the ICA authorities, to plan their schedules with due consideration given to the additional time needed for immigration clearance. To ensure a hassle-free travel experience, people should check traffic conditions beforehand. They can use the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) OneMotoring website to double check all of this.
As per the ICA, the peak hours (Singapore Standard Time) of traffic that should be avoided are as follows:
While departing Singapore: 4pm (14 April) to 2am (15 April)
5am to 1pm (15 April)
While entering Singapore: 12pm to 11.59pm (17 April)
“At the peak of the Good Friday long weekend period in 2019, travellers departing Singapore via the land checkpoints by car and motorcycle had to wait up to three hours and one and a half hours respectively,” ICA authorities reported.
They added, “Those arriving by car had to wait up to one hour during the same period.”
Before beginning their journeys, travellers should ensure that they are carrying all the necessary documents, such as their passport, valid vehicle entry permit and LTA approval email. They must present an Autopass card as well, if they are planning to enter Singapore in foreign-registered vehicles.
Singapore permanent residents with renewed passports must make sure their new passports reflect their Re-Entry Permit. Prior to arrival in Singapore, long-term pass holders should notify the ICA or the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), in case of any change in their passport particulars.
Travellers should also be in compliance with other miscellaneous requirements. They must not carry prohibited items and should observe the ‘three-quarter tank’ rule for departing via Singapore-registered cars.
Under the Customs Act 1960, Singapore-registered vehicles are required to have a minimum amount of motor fuel (at least three-quarters of the tank) when leaving Singapore via the land checkpoints. This is commonly referred to as the ‘three-quarter tank’ rule.
(Main and featured image credit: Hu Chen/Unsplash)