As more and more countries like Malaysia, Korea and Greece are allowing unvaccinated tourists to enter their countries, can the holiday-hungry Singaporeans go for their getaways?
In general, you will NOT be stopped when you exit Singapore so it will not be issue. However when you return, you may be required to serve 7-day stay home notice (SHN) and do PCR tests.
Since not all questions are answered on Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) or Ministry of Health (MOH) which covers this topic, I will give all the variations statuses and configurations, to once and fore all solve the confusing questions for Singaporeans as well as overseas travelers coming into Singapore.
Why confusing? Because, whether you need to serve SHN has nothing to do with your TraceTogether App status, as ICA is given a different set of guidelines since it has to encompass international travellers.
Obviously, if you have followed the government guidelines of being “fully vaccinated” (taking booster shots every 6 months), then you won’t have any issues travelling in and returning to Singapore.
Having a green tick on your TraceTogether App does not mean you are exempted from Stay Home Notice.
For overseas travellers, it is not an issue since you will be asked to upload your vaccination status before you arrive in Singapore.
Yes, most Singaporeans would think that if you have a green tick on the TraceTogether App, it also means that you are “safe” to travel out of Singapore? Not quite!
Here are some variations for travellers and Singaporeans to check.
Unvaccinated Singaporeans and travellers (Haven’t taken any vaccination injections)
I think this is clear and there is no dispute on this as this is clearly stated on MOH’s website. Singapore government takes a serious view on this and so far, unvaccinated Singaporeans and travellers will require a 7-day stay home notice (SHN) if you were to enter Singapore.
I have a green tick on TraceTogether app because I had covid-19 before, but I have not taken any vaccine shots.
You are considered unvaccinated in this case so you have to serve a 7-day stay home notice (SHN) if you were to enter Singapore. Singapore’s definition of having immunity if you were had covid already” is to have at least a shot of the vaccine.”🤔 (In additional, you getting covid also must be submitted to MOH so it is recorded officially.)
I am exempted from vaccination from MOH and have a green tick.
Despite the exemption, you are considered unvaccinated in this case and have to serve 7-day SHN.
I am exempted from vaccination but I have taken 1 shot of the vaccine.
You are considered unvaccinated in this case and have to serve 7-day SHN.
I am exempted from (further) vaccine shots (officially verified by MOH) but I have taken 2 shots of mRNA vaccine like Pfizer and Moderna.
Enjoy your holiday! You are considered to be fully vaccinated as per international guidelines.
I am exempted from vaccination but I have taken 2 shots of Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine.
In Singapore, you are considered fully vaccinated only if you have 3 shots of the China-made vaccines.
However, the guidelines given to ICA is that you are considered vaccinated as long as you have 2 shots regardless the type of vaccine.
You do not require the 7-day SHN but have your vaccination proof ready. You may be brought to the immigration office to provide the necessary paperwork so do factor in necessary delays in your trips if necessary.
I am exempted from vaccination but I have taken 1 shot of sinovac and 1 shot of mRNA vaccine.
You do not require the 7-day SHN but have your vaccination proof ready. You may need to provide the necessary paperwork, so do factor in necessary delays in your trips if necessary.
I have 2 of the mRNA vaccination but I didn’t take any booster shots. (I.e. my TraceTogether app may be red.)
In Singapore, you need a booster shot every 6 months! The TraceTogether App will turn red if you don’t get your booster.
However, from the immigration’s POV, you are considered fully vaccinated and hence able to enter Singapore without any quarantine.
Whether you got covid or not, in other words, your status on TraceTogether may be green or red, it doesn’t matter. As long as you have 2 shots, you are considered vaccinated in this case. Enjoy your holiday or welcome home!
How is the Stay Home notice?
You just need to be home (or your dedicated SHN Facilities) and not step out of your house, not even to grab essentials.
You need not be isolated so you can move freely in the house and mingle with your family members.
Officers from ICA (they actually outsource to a security firm for this whole SHN operation) will call you and will request to do a video chat over WhatsApp to make sure you are at home. They may check about twice during this SHN. They will also pay a house visit to ensure that you are home.
In general, travellers under SHN are required to take a mandatory COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction test (“PCR Test”) towards the end of their SHN.
I have not been issued with SHN so the above are information gathered from friends and families.
If anyone had an experience that is otherwise different from what I wrote above, please let me know and I’ll update it. This is accurate as of 20 august 2022.
As you can see, in summary, as long as you have 2 shots of the vaccines, no matter what they are, no matter how long ago they are, you do not require the stay home notice.
This is by no means the official guide but at least I hope to fill in any gaps with information. You can refer to this for other countries which you can travel to without vaccination from official sites.
Hope this article helps you plan your journey for your holiday!