Editor’s Note: Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on August 25.
If you’re planning to travel to Singapore, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like many countries in the region, Singapore has abandoned its “zero Covid” strategy in favor of a more progressive approach.
Singapore has vaccinated more than 88% of its 5.45 million population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
What’s on offer
The quintessential modern Asian city, Singapore’s glittering skyscrapers and waterside setting make it easy to love. Throw in some of the world’s best street food, served in its ubiquitous hawker centers, and the lush rainforest of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and the city-state has more than enough to satisfy fascinated tourists.
Who can go
After experimenting with vaccinated travel lanes between mutually agreeable countries, Singapore is pushing ahead with its “living with the virus” strategy.
The country is open to nearly all leisure tourists, with a few restrictions for unvaccinated travelers. See more below.
What are the restrictions?
Vaccinated travelers from any country and children under the age of 12 can enter Singapore by air or sea without needing to take a PCR test.
Unvaccinated visitors must still show proof of a negative PCR test taken within two days of travel, but from August 29 they will no longer be required to serve a seven-day home or hotel quarantine.
Local restrictions have significantly loosened as well.
Mask wearing outdoors is optional. As of August 29, that will also be the case for masks indoors, except in certain special circumstances like hospitals, doctors’ offices and on public transportation.
However, they are not required in private transport, namely cars and taxis.
There are no longer limits on crowd or group sizes. Safe distancing restrictions are not enforced.
The TraceTogether app is being phased out.
Visitors who need a PCR test in order to leave Singapore and return to their home country can find a list of government-approved clinics for Covid-19 tests here.
Layover passengers are permitted in specific areas of the airport. They are not allowed to leave these designated areas unless they have a confirmed booking for one of Changi’s two airport hotels.
More info can be found on the Singapore government’s Safe Travel website.
What’s the Covid situation?
Singapore is embracing a “live with the virus” strategy but urges people to be cautious and careful in the case of new variants.
The Singaporean government urged locals to get Covid booster shots. As per the new regulations, one’s “fully vaccinated” status will expire 270 days after getting the second vaccine unless the status is “reset” by getting a booster.
As of August 25, Singapore has recorded about 1.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,584 deaths.
What can visitors expect?
Travelers can download the TraceTogether app ahead of time and register their information, although they cannot activate the app until they have successfully cleared customs.
After leaving the country, travelers are asked to keep the app on their phones for 21 days before deleting it. That gives the government enough time to complete contact tracing in case of possible Covid exposure.
US CDC Travel Advisory:
Level 3: High. You should be fully vaccinated before traveling.
Our recent coverage
The city-state is of course known for its food, and has featured in our lists of the world’s 50 best dishes and 50 best desserts.
Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Lilit Marcus contributed to this report