Families with kids might want to start planning for a trip abroad soon.
On Oct. 11, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced that children under the age of 12 who are unvaccinated will be allowed to travel with their families if accompanied by a Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) traveller.
More Vaccinated Travel Lanes opened up
On Oct. 9, the authorities announced the addition of more VTLs to the earlier ones of Germany and Brunei.
From Oct. 19, the additional VTL countries are:
- The Netherlands
From Nov. 15 onwards, South Korea is also included.
According to CAAS:
"Children aged 12 years and below, including short-term visitors, long-term pass holders, Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, will qualify for travel under the VTL without the need to show proof of vaccination.
The age of the child will be based on the calendar year. For example, a child born in or after 2009 will be allowed to enter Singapore under the VTL in 2021.
The child must be accompanied by a VTL traveller who meets all VTL requirements for entry into Singapore. The child does not need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) to travel to Singapore under the VTL."
However, travellers are strongly encouraged to check the requirements of the countries they are travelling to.
For example, right now Brunei Darussalam does not allow general travel into the country.
From Nov. 15, 2021, South Korea will allow general travel into the country under the VTL but this does not include children who do not qualify for vaccination or persons who are medically unfit to be vaccinated.
In addition, they must adhere to the following requirements:
Stay in VTL countries
The child must have remained in one or more of the list of VTL countries in the last 14 consecutive days prior to departure to Singapore.
If the child has been in Singapore within those last 14 days, their stay in Singapore can be counted towards fulfilling this 14-day travel history requirement.
The child who is travelling to Singapore under the VTL must travel into Singapore on designated VTL flights.
The child who is transferring or transiting through Singapore will also be allowed to travel on the designated VTL flights.
The child, except those aged two years and below, will also be required to take a pre-departure PCR test within 48 hours before departing to Singapore.
Children above the age of two must take two Covid-19 PCR tests:
- A pre-departure test within 48 hours before departing to Singapore and obtain a negative test result.
- An on-arrival test at Changi Airport and remain self-isolated until their test result is confirmed negative.
Information on the requirements may be found at this website.
Following the announcement of the expanded VTLs, but prior to the CAAS announcement of the provisions for children, some parents expressed disappointment at not being able to fly with their children.
The Straits Times interviewed a woman who was rather vexed at having her holiday plans not quite fitting in with the rules then.
One woman known as Chua unburdened herself thus:
"...because of the rules, she is now deciding whether to leave her daughter at home to travel with her 45-year-old husband on a VTL-designated flight, or to take a non-VTL flight for all three, which means a stay-home notice on their return.
Ms Chua is frustrated that rules on travel continue to be tight when others have been relaxed, such as the allowing of children aged five to 11 to be placed on home recovery.
She added: "If parents are fine with taking the risk, then we should be given a choice. This is a very difficult position to be in.""
Top image from Shawn Anggg via Unsplash
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