How To Travel To Singapore DURING The Covid-19 Pandemic

Travel for leisure is largely discouraged during Covid-19. But what if you’re planning your return or even moving to this little island at this time?

We’ve rounded up all of the latest travel information and guidelines on how to actually get into Singapore during Covid-19 and what to expect once you arrive!

What To Expect When You Travel To Singapore During Covid-19

Because the rules vary, here’s what to know if you are…

1. A resident looking to return

covid-19 travel singapore

The entry requirements are as follows for…

(a) Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs):

SG’s borders remain open to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. All other travellers who wish to enter Singapore must obtain approval from the relevant authorities.

Singapore residents are not required to obtain any approvals to return to Singapore. However, they are required to submit a health declaration within three days prior to the date of arrival. The health declaration can be submitted via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service.

(b) SG Pass Holders (including In-Principal Approval holders):

If permission is granted, applicants will be issued an approval letter of entry. They must produce this letter to airline staff upon check-in at the departure airport, and to the ICA officer at the checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.

*Important note to all returning residents: if you have travelled out of Singapore before 27 March 2020 – all screening tests and Stay-Home Notices (SHNs) expenses will be covered by the Government. However, if you have left Singapore after 27 March 2020, all expenses must be borne by the traveller.

2. Have plans to move here soon

covid-19 travel singapore

If you want to live and work in Singapore, it’s essential to obtain a valid work visa from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Fortunately, The Finder‘s very own parent company, Moovaz Innovation, is an expert in helping individuals and families move across the globe. Check out its detailed explanations of the requirements for various work visas in Singapore.

Key points to note before moving here:

  • Liaise with your mover and book your packing day in advance. Due to Covid-19 regulations and health measurements, there might be slight delays in the process.
  • Check with your apartment or condominium estates management if there are activity restrictions due to Covid. This will help to avoid delays or additional charges for packing.
  • Factor in transit time and expect potential post-customs delays, as different organisations and countries have their own regulations during this period.
  • Expect delayed responses from various parties or vendors during your relocation as operations are affected by Covid regulations.
  • Expect to produce additional documents for clearance (especially for goods and personnel entering the country) due to Covid screening or regulations

Want to know more? Visit Moovaz’s website for tips about moving to SG during Covid, such as it’s never “too early” to pack!

3. Just want to visit

covid-19 travel singapore

The Singapore borders are only open to short term visitors under the following conditions:

  • In unique cases, short-term visits may be permitted upon application for entry into Singapore, including if the individual is:
    • An immediate family member or relative of a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR);
    • A spouse-to-be of a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore PR; or
    • A non-resident who has extenuating reasons to enter Singapore (e.g. death of a family member in Singapore).

If you arrive in Singapore without the Air Travel Pass/SafeTravel Pass or the approval letter of entry, you will be refused entry and have to bear the cost for the flight out of Singapore.

Upon Arrival

Live arrival updates regarding entering Singapore borders:

  • As of 11.59 p.m., May 7: Anyone entering Singapore from places other than Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will have to spend 21 days quarantining. This must be done in a government facility and not at home.
  • From 4 a.m. British Standard Time (BST), 12 May 2021: Maldives, Turkey and Nepal will be added to the ‘red’ list of countries. Travellers from these three countries will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their arrival in the UK and are to take a Covid-19 PCR test on or before Day 2 of their arrival and on Day 8 of their quarantine.
  • The much-awaited “travel bubble” between Singapore and Hong Kong is scheduled to start on May 26. People coming from Hong Kong will be required to be fully vaccinated, and there will be one flight a day going in each direction with a maximum of 200 passengers total per day.

Travellers or returning residents who’ve travelled to the Philippines, Indonesia and India within the last 14 days will need to present a valid negative Covid-19 test before entering SG. Otherwise, all other travellers have to undergo a Covid-19 Swab Test – at their own expenseeither upon arrival or during their respective Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Upon arrival in Singapore, you will most likely be required to serve a SHN during immigration clearance. To ensure smooth clearance, please present the following documents to the immigration officer:

  • Passport/Travel Document that is valid for at least six months
  • SG Arrival Card acknowledgement email
  • Approval Letter of Entry from the relevant authority (if applicable)
  • SafeTravel Pass / Periodic Commuting Arrangement Pass / Air Travel Pass (if applicable)
  • Long-Term pass (In-Principle Approval) letter (if applicable)
  • Valid Singapore visa (if applicable)

Consult the handy chart below from the International Checkpoints Authority (ICA) about Singapore’s Covid-19 travel measures for inbound travellers, based on the countries they have visited. And, for even more information on re-entering SG, refer to the ICA’s entering and departing requirements.

Travel history in the last 14 days                                     Residents (Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents) Long-term Pass holders/
In-Principle Approval (IPA) holders1 [with valid approval letter for entry2]
Short-term visitors
1. Australia [excluding
Victoria state]3
2.Brunei Darussalam
3. Macau SAR
4. Mainland China
5. New Zealand
6. Republic of Korea
7. Taiwan
8. Vietnam
Allowed entry:

  • Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at own accommodation
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable4)
Allowed entry:

  • SHN at own accommodation
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
Not allowed entry, unless with valid approval letter for entry:

  • SHN at own accommodation
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
All other countries/places Allowed entry:

  • SHN at SHN Dedicated Facility (SDF)5
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable4)
Allowed entry:

  • SHN at SDF (chargeable)
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
Not allowed entry, unless with valid approval letter for entry:

  • SHN at SDF (chargeable)
  • COVID-19 test before the end of SHN (chargeable)
Entry under SafeTravel
(e.g. Fast Lane / Reciprocal Green Lane / Periodic Commuting Arrangement)
Please refer to the SafeTravel Website for Covid-19 travel information on the respective schemes.

Go here for important notes about this chart. If you’re unsure about your status, consult the ICA’s Covid arrival rules at this website.

About Serving a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

As of 1 September 2020, this quarantine period applies to all Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders who travel to Singapore during Covid-19. But you may be wondering…

What is a SHN exactly?
All persons arriving in Singapore, regardless of nationality, are subject to mandatory SHNs. These are basically quarantining in an assigned place. Meaning? You are not allowed outside of your room regardless of the reason. Don’t worry, food and other necessities will be delivered right to your door, and your loved ones are welcome to send you food packages as well – but no visits!

Individuals who breach their SHN may be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. First-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months or both. Yeah, SG means business. (This explains everything you need to know about SHNs.) 

Where is it done?
Depending on where you’re coming from, you may be required to stay in a dedicated facility for 14 days – you will be informed of the location during your arrival. However, if you travelling from any of the six countries noted below (scroll down), you may be allowed to serve your SHN at your own accommodation.
The individual cost of accommodation must be borne by all travellers. 

Want to hear from people who’ve experienced quarantine in SG? Check out the “Singapore Hotel Quarantine Information & Experience” Facebook group.

In a nutshell…

Also as of January 2021, refer to this overview of travel regulations that apply to SG Citizens, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass holders and short-term visitors from the approved countries below who wish travel to Singapore during Covid-19:

  • Australia, Brunei, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mainland China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam.

(Note: Information has been compiled from the following official websites: International Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).)

Relocating soon? Get a free consultation with The Finder’s trusted relocation partner!

Moovaz is a global movement revolutionising relocation services. It empowers individuals and families to move to their dream destination by making the journey simple and seamless with the core pillars: Technology, Knowledge and People. Talk to a Moovaz move consultant and get a free quotation now.

By Willaine G. Tan, November 2020 / Last updated May 2021 / Images: 123RF.com

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More on The Finder:

True Story: What It Was Like Having Covid-19 in Singapore
Can Dependent’s Pass Holders Continue Working In Singapore In 2021?
The Covid-19 Vaccine: What You Need To Know And Why You Should Get Vaccinated Quickly

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