Singapore sets India Reclassification as Safe

Singapore sets India Reclassification as Safe

It was great news to Singapore in August 2021 when Germany reclassified India as "a high (Covid) incidence area," moving it away from the previously designated "virus variant area," which was subject to more stringent travel restrictions. As a result of this decision, the ban on Indian travelers entering the country has been lifted. Tourists from India who have received all of their necessary vaccinations are also welcome in Spain. Accordingly, with effect from October 2021, Singapore swiftly lifted its travel ban on India, Myanmar, and Pakistan, and Sri Lanka citizens. People who have traveled to these countries within the previous 14 days were permitted entry into Singapore. The Indian Express reported earlier that the Singapore government had announced travel restrictions for India, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka passengers on Saturday. Passengers from these countries would be permitted to enter the country even if they had visited these countries within the preceding 14 days. This was a welcome change for visitors to the island-state, which had imposed some of the most stringent travel restrictions since the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out.

The Singapore government had previously stated that visitors from many countries would be subjected to Category IV border controls upon arrival. Under this category, which is the most stringent of Singapore's four restriction levels, only citizens and permanent residents of Singapore and visitors who had been granted permission to enter through the Death and Critical Illness Emergency Visits Lane were permitted entry. All other visitors, including those who had received prior entry approvals, were barred from entering the country. Aside from that, eligible travelers must submit to a Covid-19 RT-PCR test at least 48 hours before departure, another test upon arrival in Singapore, and a 10-day quarantine stays at a quarantine facility dedicated to the prevention of disease.

As noted, the Ministry of Health of Singapore, in a statement, had said those who had traveled to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka would not be permitted to enter or transit through Singapore. "Our team has reviewed the Covid-19 situation in each of the countries listed above. We have determined that all travelers who have a 14-day travel history in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka prior to departure for Singapore will only be permitted to enter and transit through Singapore beginning October 2021. Such travelers would be subject to Category IV border restrictions." The city-state has granted permission for people from many other countries where the Covid-19 situation is under control to enter the city-state. Those wishing to return to Singapore from India were required to spend at least 14 days in a third country before flying back to Singapore in order to avoid being barred.

In August, Singapore joined Germany and Brunei Darussalam to establish vaccinated travel lanes (VTL). VTLs are essentially extended travel corridors, but they are only available to travelers who have received all of their vaccinations. Currently, VTLs can be found in the following countries: Denmark, France; Italy; the Netherlands; Spain; Spain, the UK, Canada, the United States, and South Korea. Indian travelers are permitted to travel to a limited extent in a number of other countries. These countries include the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Spain, the Maldives, Turkey, and Thailand. According to the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi, travelers flying into Turkey from India will no longer be required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival if they have received all of the recommended vaccinations.

Travelers arriving from the following countries would be placed in Category III: Among the countries represented are S. Africa, Cambodia, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Rwanda, Malaysia, Mongolia, Qatar, Samoa, Seychelles, Tonga, UAE, and Vietnam. All travelers from Category III countries/regions (vaccinated or not) would be required to serve their 10-day SHN at their declared place of residence/accommodation, regardless of their vaccination status or travel history. An official of the Ministry of Health and Human Services said: "By default, they will not be assigned to any of the SHN facilities that are specifically designated for them. Returning residents should make arrangements for alternative housing prior to returning home if their current residences are unsuitable for them due to their SHN." The Ministry of Health has clarified that while Cat III travelers will serve their SHN at home, they should remain isolated in their room and avoid direct contact with vulnerable household members.