From 23 December 2021 to 20 January 2022, ticket sales for Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights and buses into Singapore will be suspended in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases.
New bookings and ticket sales for travellers entering Singapore will be halted in a bid to stamp the spread of COVID-19 and its Omicron variant.
This new measure will start on 23 December 2021 and will end on 20 January 2022. According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, VTL bus tickets going into Malaysia will also be halted.
This was announced on Wednesday, 22 December 2021, as imported cases have reached a new high since Omicron emerged.
However, those who have bought tickets back to Singapore aboard the aforementioned flights and buses would still be allowed to travel via the quarantine-free travel scheme.
A reduction of VTL quotas and ticket sales for travel into Singapore after 20 January 2022 will also be put in place.
The Current Situation
As of Monday, 20 December 2021, there have been a total of 71 reported Omicron cases with 65 being imported and six being local cases. The rise in Omicron cases in Singapore is proportionate to the rising number of cases across the world.
Before the current change, both Singaporeans and Malaysians alike were allowed to travel to both countries via the VTL scheme. However, the recent rise in Omicron cases has put a stop to that prospect.
The MOH has decided to tighten restrictions as it “will help to buy us time to study and understand the Omicron variant, and to strengthen our defences, including enhancing our healthcare capacity, and getting more people vaccinated and boosted”.
The Transport Minister S Iswaran added in a Facebook post, “As part of our careful and calibrated approach to border reopening, it is crucial that we tighten our safeguards when warranted by the public health risk assessment, to protect the health and safety of our fellow Singaporeans, frontline aviation workers and travellers.”
Do stay tuned to Motorist as we will be providing updates on any further developments.
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