This post was written in collaboration with Sompo Insurance Singapore. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.
After 2 years of staying put in Singapore, we are once again experiencing the thrill of making travel plans! What’s more, with Chinese New Year just over, those of us with family and sorely-missed loved ones residing overseas are still yearning for a long-awaited face-to-face meet-up instead of just over Zoom.
But there’s still the niggling feeling that Covid-19 has not gone away (ugh, Omicron), and that there are now lots of procedures and requirements for travel.
At this point in the pandemic, we’ve all become accustomed to living with restrictions, so don’t let them get you down. So long as you are well-prepared, don’t let the new rules prevent you from exploring a new country, trying new cuisines and having new experiences.
Safe Travel & VTL: Travel requirements to and from Singapore
Singapore now has several active Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) with other countries. VTLs enable fully-vaccinated people to travel overseas without needing to get quarantined. All air travel must take place on designated VTL flights.
Singapore citizens and PRs travelling overseas via a VTL do not need to apply for permission to leave Singapore, but foreigners will need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass before being able to travel.
At the time of writing, countries with an active VTL agreement with Singapore are as follows: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and the US.
You will need to prepare the following when travelling via a VTL:
Pre-departure from Singapore:
- Accepted proof of vaccination
- Depending on the destination country’s requirements, a negative ART or PCR Covid-19 test may be required, taken within 48 hours of departure from Singapore (click here for list of test locations). Some countries also require on-arrival tests.
- Valid Vaccinated Travel Pass (Singapore citizens and PRs exempted)
Pre-arrival in Singapore (from 21 Feb 2022, 2359h SGT):
- Negative pre-departure Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or professionally administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) taken within 2 days before departure for Singapore. (click here for overseas test locations)
- Supervised self-administered ART at a Quick Test Centre (QTC) or Combined Test Centre (CTC) within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore.
Note: VTL travellers who enter Singapore before 21 Feb 2022, 2359h (SGT) are required to continue with the existing testing regime (i.e. on-arrival PCR test and unsupervised self-administered ARTs from Days 2 to 7).
Some of the VTL countries require visitors to purchase travel insurance before departure. However, whether it’s required or not, you should definitely get a good travel insurance policy that protects you from Covid-19.
Get a travel insurance that covers Covid-19
Travel insurance is even more important in the age of Covid-19, not to mention mandatory if you wish to visit many countries via the VTL.
Having coverage for Covid-19 is essential. Not only can it cover your medical costs if you contract Covid-19 while on holiday, it can also offer compensation for travel costs if your trip is cancelled or disrupted should the insured person be diagnosed with Covid-19.
Sompo’s travel insurance provides coverage for Covid-19 and more when you travel, whether via a VTL or otherwise.
Here are the Sompo policy’s key features (full list here):
|Coverage||Essential Plan (individual)||Essential Plan (family total)||Superior Plan (individual)||Superior Plan (family total)|
|Trip cancellation* (excess $100)||$2,000||$3,000||$4,000||$6,000|
|Trip postponement* (excess $100)||$2,000||$3,000||$4,000||$6,000|
|Trip curtailment* (excess $100)||$1,000||$1,500||$2,000||$3,000|
|Trip disruption* (excess $100)||$1,000||$1,500||$2,000||$3,000|
|Medical expenses overseas*||$25,000 to $100,000||$150,000||$80,000 to $200,000||$300,000|
|Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation*||$25,000 to $100,000||$250,000||$80,000 to $200,000||$500,000|
|Overseas quarantine allowance*||$700||N/A||$1,400||N/A|
|Overseas hospital income*||$700||N/A||$1,400||N/A|
*Due to Covid-19
So, what makes Sompo’s travel insurance special? Here are some of the ways in which the policy stands out:
- No need to do a pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test
Some travel insurance policies require you to take a pre-departure PCR test in order to qualify for coverage, but Sompo does not if you are fully vaccinated. You only need to take a test if your destination country requires it.
- Get overseas quarantine allowance/overseas hospital income due to Covid-19
Sompo lets Essential/Superior policyholders claim up to $700/$1,400 overseas quarantine allowance, OR up to $700/$1,400 for overseas hospital income if diagnosed with Covid-19 while overseas. You can make a claim under one category only.
- Affordably priced for the amount of coverage
Coverage for a two-week trip to France will cost you about $161 (Essential Plan) or $206 (Superior).
- Higher limits for changes in travel plans
Travel plans can be disrupted in this pandemic, so higher limits to cover changes in travel plans can be a great relief. For instance, you should qualify for coverage if you have to postpone your trip or cancel your trip due to a positive Covid-19 test result.
- Medical expenses overseas can be claimed for up to 45 days
It can take a while to recover from Covid-19 or simply to wait until you get a negative test result. Having up to 45 days of overseas medical expenses gives you the peace of mind that you won’t run out of coverage before you recover.
Information is correct as of 18 February 2022.