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Mar 04, 2022 / 17:49

Singapore to launch vaccinated travel lane for Vietnam

Relaxing travel restrictions is the most important measure that both Singapore and Vietnam take to support each other to recover together from Covid-19.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Friday that it will launch the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) for Vietnam as part of efforts to boost the post-pandemic connectivity of the two nations of strategic partnership.

 Visitors at Changi Airport, Singapore. Photo: Changi Airport

The VTL scheme, which removes quarantine for fully-vaccinated travelers to Singapore, will be effective on March 16, one day after Vietnam opens its borders to international visitors.

Accordingly, VTL will be imposed for tourists from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Mar 16 and those from Vietnam’s famous beach city of Danang on Mar 27.

Under VTL allows quarantine-free travel to Singapore via air only, travelers have to test negative in a Covid-19 test before departure for Singapore and take another test within 24 hours of their arrival.

“With the launch of the VTL from Vietnam, we will restore two-way quarantine-free travel with Vietnam, which was a popular destination for many Singaporeans pre-Covid,” according to CAAS.

Relaxing mobility is one of the most important measures that both Vietnam and Singapore have discussed to resume air connection as the two countries have strong economic ties and close people-to-people links.

Singapore was Vietnam’s biggest investor in 2020 and the first half of 2021. So far, Singaporean investments in Vietnam amounted to US$67 billion. Meanwhile, Singapore is home to approximately 15,000 Vietnamese people who study, work and live there, including many in international marriages.

The measure was highlighted during the visit to Singapore on Feb 24-26 by Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

In the joint statement issued during the visit, both sides welcomed the progress made by the bilateral working group on Covid-19 public health and border measures, which was formed last year. This includes both sides’ agreement on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, which will facilitate the safe and early resumption of regular commercial travel between the two countries.

Vietnam closed its border to international tourists from March 2020 due to Covid-19. The country has welcomed inbound tourists back in phases by lifting border restrictions in September 2021 as vaccination rates started to climb. In the latest move, it plans to open borders to all foreign visitors from March 15.