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SINGAPORE: Effective Friday (Apr 1), Singapore is removing all existing vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and unilateral opening arrangements.

Instead, it will transition to a new simplified travel framework – the vaccinated travel framework – where countries and regions will be classified into two categories – general travel or the restricted category. 

Under the framework, all fully vaccinated travellers, as well as children aged 12 and below, will be able to enter Singapore with just a pre-departure COVID-19 test from 11.59pm on Mar 31. Those arriving from Malaysia via the land borders are exempted from any COVID-19 tests. 

As part of the relaxation of travel measures, anyone planning to enter Singapore will also no longer have to apply for entry approvals or take designated VTL flights.

While this means that travel will once again become more accessible, it does not mean that travellers departing Singapore can visit any country as they please, restriction-free.

CNA looks at various destinations frequented by Singaporeans and what the various entry rules are.

THAILAND

Travellers can enter Thailand by applying for entry via the “Thailand Pass” system online.

As of Friday, visitors will no longer need to undergo a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

Vaccinated travellers can enter via the Exemption from Quarantine (Test and Go) scheme. They will have to stay at pre-paid government approved accommodation until they test negative on their on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Thereafter, travellers are free to travel to any part of Thailand but will have to perform an antigen self-test on day five of their arrival.

Tourists returned to the beaches of Phuket after Thailand gave the green light for vaccinated visitors to return to the country. (Photo: AFP)

Alternatively, Thailand also has a “Sandbox” option for vaccinated people where travellers can stay the first five days – to be shortened from seven from Friday – within Sandbox destinations such as Phuket and Krabi.

After testing negative on their PCR test, travellers can enjoy activities within the Sandbox areas for the next five days but they must return to their prearranged accommodation each night.

After this period, they are free to travel within Thailand but will also have to perform an antigen self-test on day five.

While entry into Thailand is permitted for those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, they will be subject to a quarantine period of five days.

JAPAN

Hoping to catch the cherry blossoms in Japan this spring?

You may have to head elsewhere for your holiday as the country’s borders remain firmly shut to tourists.

UNITED KINGDOM

The United Kingdom is one of the easiest countries for travellers from Singapore to visit, regardless of one’s vaccination status.

No pre-departure test – check.

No on-arrival test – check.

No quarantine – check.

Travellers are also free to travel to any part of the UK after entering the country.

A traveller at Heathrow Airport. (Photo: AFP/File/Adrian Dennis)

NEW ZEALAND

Despite being one of the countries with the strictest COVID-19 border policies, New Zealand will progressively open up to travellers later this year.

Earlier this month, the government announced that from May 2, it will reopen its borders to vaccinated international tourists from countries and territories that New Zealand have visa-wavier arrangements with and travellers who already hold a valid visitor visa.

These countries include Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, UK, USA, South Korea and Taiwan.

Most of these travellers will have to do a COVID-19 pre-departure test before entering New Zealand.

Fully vaccinated tourists from this list of countries will also be able to enter quarantine-free and do a self-test on arrival.

SOUTH KOREA

Despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, South Korea remains open to travellers from Singapore.

From Friday, the country is further reopening its borders to travellers from all countries.

Fans of K-pop group BTS take pictures as they arrive for a BTS live concert at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Mar 10, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to serve a mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

However, a pre-departure COVID-19 test is still required, and travellers will have to register their vaccination history with South Korea’s Q-Code website.

MALAYSIA

Do you miss going on long road trips to Malaysia?

For the first time in two years, fully vaccinated people in Singapore and Malaysia will be able to cross the land borders by private transport on Friday.

Those travelling to Malaysia will need to download, register and activate the MySejahtera application on their mobile phone. This is what Malaysia uses to check the vaccination status and facilitate contact tracing.

Travellers must have completed a full regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be allowed entry to Malaysia.

AUSTRALIA

At the moment, travellers from Singapore can enter Australia.

But before you book your tickets, make sure that you check the COVID-19 regulations for the state or territory you are transiting or travelling to. 

Each state or territory has its own requirements that travellers will need to adhere to, these include taking a COVID-19 test soon after arrival in Australia.

Children under 12 years old are considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes. 

Prior to entering the country, a negative COVID-19 test result is required for most travellers. Passengers will also need to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration and submit it 72 hours prior to entry.