5 imported Covid-19 cases recorded out of over 5,100 VTL arrivals in S'pore so far

Daily VTL arrival quota will increase to 4,000.

Faris Alfiq | October 26, 2021, 07:33 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

Since the start of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme on Sep. 8, more than 5,100 vaccinated travel pass holders have arrived in Singapore.

Five of them tested positive for Covid-19.

Minister for Transport S Iswaran shared the figures with the media during a virtual doorstop on Oct. 26.

He added that with the inclusion of Australia and Switzerland in the VTL scheme, up to 4,000 travellers under the scheme may enter Singapore daily.

Iswaran said the number is 1,000 more than what Singapore has allowed up till now.

"We will monitor the progress of the scheme closely before deciding on any further extension," he said.

Singapore prepared to adjust VTL quota up and down

Iswaran reiterated that the government will be cautious and calibrated in reopening Singapore's borders, informed by the latest public health assessments.

In the case of Australia and Switzerland, both countries are under Category 2 in MOH's risk assessment, and their travel lanes will be accompanied by safeguards.

Iswaran emphasised that with these additions, there will be a total of 13 VTLs, which is a "fraction" of the countries that Changi Airport was connected to pre-Covid.

Responding to a question, he said that Singapore is prepared to adjust the numbers of travellers both up and down, depending on the risk considerations.

Germany, U.S. reclassify Singapore's risk

Iswaran also responded to questions by the media on the reclassification of Singapore's risk by Germany and the United States.

On Oct. 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) raised Singapore's risk level to the highest level, "Very High", and suggested that travel to Singapore should be avoided.

From Oct. 24, Germany classified Singapore as a "high-risk" country.

Iswaran said that the reclassification of risk by countries shows the dynamic nature of the virus, and how different countries have to constantly evaluate and recalibrate their posture.

He added that Singapore is no exception as it continues to look at the situation domestically and in partner countries.

In the case of the U.S., it is essentially an advisory for outbound travellers. For inbound travellers, that is, Singaporeans visiting the U.S., the requirement is vaccination and a pre-departure test, and as long as those conditions are satisfied, they can travel quarantine-free. Therefore, the VTL allows for quarantine-free travel.

For Germany, travellers have to submit a digital registration online prior to their trip, and with some restrictions for unvaccinated children.

Iswaran added that the circumstances will continue to evolve, and Singapore's assessment of other countries will continue to take account of the latest developments, as well as theirs of Singapore.

Follow and listen to our podcast here

Top image via Muhammad Hasbis/Pixabay