Singapore Allows Entry of Travelers from Mainland China

Posted by Written by Ayman Falak Medina Reading Time: 3 minutes
  • Singapore began allowing short-term visitors from mainland China on November 6, 2020, through its Air Travel Pass (ATP) program.
  • The program is open only to low-risk COVID-19 countries with Brunei, Australia, Vietnam, and New Zealand having already joined.
  • Visitors will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Singapore and adhere to strict health protocols, such as wearing masks and safe distancing.

From November 6, 2020, Singapore lifted its border restrictions for travelers from China through its Air travel Pass (ATP) program, as the country looks to boost its pandemic-battered tourism industry.

The ATP allows foreigners from selected countries to enter Singapore for short-term visits. The country has already allowed entry to citizens of Brunei, Australia, Vietnam, and New Zealand as the Singaporean government acknowledged these countries to be low-risk.

Citizens and permanent resident holders who are not from the aforementioned countries can still enter Singapore – if their country has established a reciprocal green lane (RGL) with the city-state. The RGL users, however, are only eligible for short-term, essential business or official travel.

Countries that have an RGL agreement with Singapore are:

Before the ATP program, China had established an RGL with Singapore, allowing for only essential business and official trips between the two countries. The travel corridor facilitated travel between the Chinese provinces of Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Zhejiang and Singapore. 

How do you apply for an ATP?

Foreigners traveling from mainland China can enter Singapore by applying for the ATP. Singaporean citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders are not required to apply for the ATP. However, long-term pass holders must seek approval from the relevant Singaporean government agency for entry into the country.

To apply, travelers will need to apply through the ATP website here, between seven and 30 calendar days prior to arrival in Singapore. Once approved, the ATP will be issued via email and will be valid from the intended date of entry into the country and up to seven calendar days after.

After receiving the ATP, the traveler can apply for a visa (where applicable). More information can be found here.

Pre-departure requirements

There are several perquisites that travelers will have to adhere to before arriving in Singapore. The applicant must first have remained in mainland China in the last 14 consecutive days before the departure date.

In addition, the applicant must download and submit the SG Arrival Card, which details the applicant’s health and travel history, as well as the place of accommodation in Singapore.

Visitors must also register and pre-pay for their COVID-19 test, which will be conducted at Changi International Airport upon arrival. They must also book non-residential accommodation for a period of one to two days after arrival to await their COVID-19 tests.

Finally, applicants must download the TraceTogether app, which is designed to assist with contact tracing.

Visitors are reminded to have the following documents ready during check-in at their departure airport:

  • The ATP approval letter;
  • A valid visa (if applicable); and
  • TraceTogether app.

Arrival in Singapore

On arrival in Singapore, the traveler must present the relevant documents to immigration officials.

They will then have to take a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport, before taking private transportation, taxi, or private car hire to their self-declared accommodation. The visitor will stay in the accommodation until the results are released (within 48 hours).

If the results are negative, the visitor is free to leave the accommodation and proceed with their travel itinerary. If, however, they do test positive, then they are responsible for the medical costs of any COVID-19 treatment while in Singapore.

While in Singapore, visitors must adhere to prevailing health protocols, such as wearing masks and safe distancing. They must also keep the TraceTogether app activated throughout their trip and at least 14 days after leaving Singapore.

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