Singapore-UK VTL guide
So, two years into the pandemic your cabin fever has finally reached its limits – you’ve decided to go on vacation, this time to the UK, for the charm of the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace. You’ve packed your bags, applied for leave and are getting ready to book your flights, but navigating the complex Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) requirements is a whole new ballgame.
Well, here’s everything you need to know about travelling to the UK via the VTL, so you can enjoy the fuss-free vacation you deserve.
Note: All information is accurate as of 22nd February 2022.
SG to UK – Pre-departure forms and documentation
As of 11th Feb 2022, fully-vaccinated travellers entering the UK from Singapore via the VTL don’t need to quarantine or take any PCR/ART tests prior to departure or upon arrival in the UK.
To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have completed your second vaccine dose of an approved vaccine 14 days prior to departure, and have proof of this in the form of a vaccination certificate. You can apply for the certificate within five minutes on Notarise using your Singpass.
Be sure to check if you need to apply for an Entry Visa for the UK – those holding a Singapore passport don’t need one.
As you’re preparing for your trip, set a reminder for yourself to complete a passenger locator form 48 hours prior to your arrival in the UK. You’ll also need to register and fill up your deets on the NHS Covid-19 app ahead of your trip.
Booking your flights
Now that you have prepared your documentation, it’s time to book your flight. Flights from Singapore to the UK don’t operate under the VTL scheme, so any flight out of Singapore will do.
However, you must make sure that you book an approved VTL flight back into the country. Presently, VTL flights to Singapore from the UK only operate from London and Manchester, under British Airways and Singapore Airlines.
Cost: $1,724 to $2,028 on average, depending on airline and travel dates.
Budget conscious Singaporeans will be happy to know that unlike short-term foreign travellers, Singaporeans and PRs are not required to purchase travel insurance for re-entry into Singapore. However, for those who want to be extra careful, you can get travel insurance that covers Covid-19 while in the UK.
Image adapted from: FWD Singapore
Cost: From $42, depending on plan and provider.
Travelling back to Singapore
It’s been a while and you miss your char kway teow, and now it’s time to head home. But before you hop onto your flight, you need to ensure you’ve either travelled to or transited through a VTL country or Category I country within the past seven days.
Then, three days prior to your arrival in Singapore, you’ll need to fill up the SG Arrival Card and submit an electronic health declaration. You’ll also need to ensure you take a “valid pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test or professionally administered ART test showing a negative test result or a medical proof of recent Covid-19 infection,” according to Changi Airport Group.
Within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore, you’ll be required to take a supervised self-administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) at a Quick Test Centre or Combined Test Centre.
P.S. Non-Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents will also have to ensure they’ve applied for a Vaccinated Travel Pass 3 – 60 days before their travel date.
Cost: $15 for the supervised ART test in Singapore, and an average of $109 for a pre-departure test in the UK.
See the full VTL checklist from ICA.
How much does it cost?
At the time of writing, the only costs involved in making the trip are that of the flight tickets, the pre-departure PCR/ART in the UK and the ART upon arrival in Singapore.
Average expected costs:
Pre-departure test in the UK: $109Supervised ART test upon arrival in Singapore: $15Round trip flight tickets between $1,700 and $2,200Insurance from $42
Total cost: $1,866 – 2,366
UK VTL tips for Singaporeans
When planning for your trip, a great way to make things easier for yourself is to stay organised. To prevent any unwanted surprises, make sure to have both electronic and physical copies of the applicable documents on hand to present to airline staff and immigration officers.
With the ever-changing restrictions, make sure to check the ICA website for the most updated information. Travelling during the pandemic isn’t quite the same as before, but it will all be worth it when you’re finally land and start your vacation.