While it seems that Singapore may not scrap the entirety of its Covid-19 safety protocols anytime soon, the country’s authorities are simplifying its pandemic regulations.
From 25 February, Singapore will eliminate the requirement for safe distancing when masks are worn although social group settings remain at five people.
Come 4 March, specific size limits and zoning requirements for business events and conferences, and weddings will be lifted. In place, the MOH will set event sizes based on the venue capacity.
Some capacity limits will still be imposed for events though.
Smaller events or settings with 1,000 people or fewer can proceed without any capacity limits, while larger settings or events with more than 1,000 people will be subject to a capacity limit of 50 percent.
These include attractions, cruises, MICE and large work-related events, as well as large performing arts venues or sports stadiums.
More VTLS to take flight with lesser tests
When it comes to streamlining its border control measures, there are three new changes to inbound travel regulations starting from 21 February:
- Passengers’ travel history requirement will be cut from 14 to seven days, meaning that a visitor’s travel history prior to the past seven days will not affect their ability to travel to Singapore.
- Stay-home notice for travellers to be standardised to seven days for those who require quarantine in Singapore
- Travellers under the VTL scheme need not perform daily ART tests from Day 2 to Day 7 after arrival.
Additionally, more vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) will be established. From 25 February, vaccinated travellers will be able to fly into Singapore from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE without quarantine, whereas two-way quarantine-free travel for travellers arriving from Israel and Philippines will begin on 4 March.
By March, the government aims to increase the daily entry quota from 5,000 to 15,000 international travellers coming in under the VTL scheme that extends to around 25 countries.
“In the past, the objective of travel rules was to prevent the import of infections into Singapore,” Health Minister and task force co-chair Ong Ye Kung said at a task force press conference on 16 February. “Now, imported infections are about 1% of total daily case counts so they no longer have a material impact on our epidemic situation.”
Ong added that Singapore will have to think about allowing quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated travellers from all countries beyond just the ones with VTLs established. He believes that this transition should be made after the Omicron wave starts to subside.