Unlocking the World

Travel to Singapore during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN staffUpdated 9th May 2022
Enjoy the tradition of the hawker stalls paired with the modern architecture in Singapore.
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 May 9.
(CNN) — 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.

The basics

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

Singapore has opened "vaccinated travel lanes" (VTLs) with a range of countries, like Thailand, Maldives and Vietnam.
However, these will essentially disappear as Singapore moves toward a full reopening. The border between Singapore and Malaysia, which has traditionally been one of the busiest border crossings in the world, has reopened to its previous capacity as of April 1.

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.
Local restrictions have significantly loosened as well.
On March 29, mask-wearing outdoors became optional, although the rules for wearing them indoors and in enclosed spaces -- including all forms of mass transit -- still apply.
There are no longer limits on crowd or group sizes. Safe distancing restrictions are not enforced.
The TraceTogether app is being phased out. Most places no longer ask visitors to "check in" upon arrival, but visitors are advised to keep the app on their phone in case they need to show proof of vaccination.
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.
On January 5, 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 May 9, Singapore has recorded 1,215,499 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,350 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.

Useful links

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.