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All the travel updates in Singapore

Don't let mundane Mondays get to you, here are the travel updates you might have missed

Dewi Nurjuwita
Written by
Dewi Nurjuwita
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"Travel" is a word that comes up the most when asked what people miss the most pre-pandemic. Singaporeans have even been found to be the most travel-deprived in the world, especially with the lack of interstate travel in the country. So when news of the Vaccinated Travel Lanes broke out, it comes as no surprise that most were elated.

There's been some talk about Malaysia reportedly planning to welcome tourists in November – but details are still up in the air. We're still reeling from the travel news last week, though. In case you've missed some, read on for all the travel updates you need to know. But before you pack your bags, read up on all eligibility criteria, prevailing border control measures and public health requirements for travel into the respective countries. 

RECOMMENDED: The best alternative destinations to travel to from Singapore

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Our well-loved travel destination Bali has recently reopened to international tourists – however, Singaporeans will have to wait. 

On October 14, Indonesian authorities announced that the holiday island of Bali is welcoming visitors from 19 countries, marking the first since Indonesia closed its borders to foreign travellers 18 months ago. The countries, chosen for their low Covid-19 cases, are Bahrain, China, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. 

A question stands: when will Indonesia open up to Singapore tourists? In an interview with CNBC, Indonesia's Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said: "[With] Singapore and Australia, definitely, we are continuing to talk,” he said. According to him, conversations are focused on ensuring reopening "will be done first on a safe and secure basis." 

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Thailand has just announced that it will drop quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated visitors from ten low-risk countries from November 1. These countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

Arrivals from these countries will need to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test before they depart for Thailand and do another test when they arrive, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Those who are negative will be free to move and travel around Thailand. 

Visitors from countries not on the approved list can still travel to Thailand but will have to follow other strict Covid-19 requirements such as travelling under the Sandbox model, which allows fully vaccinated tourists from about 70 countries to travel to Thailand without quarantining. However, they'll have to stay in designated areas – Phuket, Phang-Nga, Surat Thani, Krabi or other approved destinations – for at least seven days before travelling to other parts of the country.

Granted, you'll still have to serve SHN when you arrive home and check updated travel measures while planning your return. 

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It has just been announced that Australia is in the final stages of concluding a quarantine-free travel bubble with Singapore. This could be established within the next week, said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

The signs are looking good, as Singapore Airlines has also just announced that its flagship Airbus A380 will resume flying to Sydney from December 1, as the carrier increases its capacity to the Sydney market ahead of the holiday season. The arrangement would depend on the quarantine restrictions of individual states. New South Wales and Victoria, for instance, are planning to allow the entry of fully vaccinated travellers from overseas from November 1.

Is this a blessing or a curse? And could this be the start of a new Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)? We're keeping our fingers crossed. 

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Singapore and South Korea have announced vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) starting from November 15, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) today. 

Under the joint VTLs, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to travel between Changi Airport and Incheon International Airport – all that is required are COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests in place of serving quarantine or stay-home notice. There will also be no restrictions on the purpose of travel or requirements for a controlled itinerary or sponsorship. 

We know for a fact that the love is strong between Singapore and South Korea. Before COVID-19, both countries were among each other's top travel destinations, with a total of 64 weekly passenger services connecting the two countries and carrying 1.6 million passengers annually.

Get some inspiration from our 24-hour guide to Seoul

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