After imposing a 14-day mandatory quarantine period for visitors from Taiwan, Singapore decided to remove travel restrictions for visitors arriving from Taiwan on August 5, 2021. The plan began to go underway once its COVID-19 situation improved with great results.
What is an “air travel bubble”?
The travel bubble (also known as a travel corridor or Corona corridor) is a plan formed through a partnership between two or more territories to ease border restrictions for each other.
Partnering territories are to open their borders and allow vaccinated travellers to travel between the two locations without having to undergo mandated self-isolation.
The Singapore-Taiwan Travel Bubble
As announced by Taiwan’s Ministry of Health representative, Mr. Chen Shih-chung on March 18, 2021, Both had begun discussing the possibility of a travel corridor or bubble around that time.
Singapore loosened the pandemic measures around Taiwanese people arriving in the country, permitting them to proceed with their activities without serving a stay-home notice in case of negative COVID test results. This led to Singaporean authorities lobbying for a similar policy for their countrymen waiting to travel to Taiwan.
Consideration for a Corona corridor between the two countries isn’t news. Back in December 2020, Singapore’s Transport Minister Mr. Ong Ye Kung said in an interview that Taiwan is a “very safe partner to do a unilateral opening” with.
He also wanted to bring to light the reduced quarantine period to five days for Singaporeans with an essential business trip to the country.
The situation completely changed, however, when Taiwan got a spike in cases. On May 16, 2021, Taiwan went through one of its worst local outbreaks of COVID-19, recording a considerable amount of 206 people in a single day.
Thankfully, the country was quick to act and instated a soft lockdown on its residents, which greatly contributed to drastically decreasing the number of active cases.
On Thursday, August 5, 2021, Taiwan reportedly only had six cases for the day, a massive improvement from its situation only a few months prior.
Singapore’s MOH took this as a sign of good tidings and an opportunity to restart relations with the country and announced that they would no longer require the stay-home notice for a traveller coming from Taiwan.
Starting August 7, 2021, at exactly 11:59 pm, passengers are no longer required to serve mandatory quarantine.
The Current Situation
As of writing, there is no air travel bubble between the countries, but due to the continued progress addressing their respective situations, air travel is not completely out of the question for people who may desire to take a trip to either territory.
To be eligible for Singapore air travel, passengers must have stayed in Taiwan for at least 21 days before departure and before landing in Singaporean ground. They must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival.
For Taiwan, a visitor must undergo an appointed amount of quarantine time at a designated facility or hotel. Foreigners are temporarily banned from entering the country unless they are married to or are the offspring of a Taiwanese citizen.
Visiting from Taiwan
1. Short-term visitors
Foreigners leaving Taiwan and going for a short-term visit may seek entry to Singapore by applying for an Air Travel Pass (ATP).
2. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents
Singapore Citizens (SC) and Permanent Residents (PR) can return from any overseas country without entry approval. Depending on the travel history, the MOH determines the category of travel health measures that apply before arriving in the country.
These travellers should not apply for an ATP to travel to Singapore.
More details related to the requirements and Category of travel health measures is available in the “Returning SC/PR Lane Overview”.
3. Long-Term Pass Holders and SC/PR Immediate Relatives
To enter Singapore, Long Term Pass holders and the immediate relatives of Singapore citizens/permanent residents must apply for entry approval. Depending on the travel history, the MOH determines the category of travel health measures that apply before arriving in the country.
These travellers should not apply for an ATP to travel to Singapore and may either check these lanes: Work Pass Holder General Lane or Student’s Pass Holder Lane, or check for more information here.
Upon arrival in Singapore, visitors holding an ATP will undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport. Visitors must immediately take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car to get from the airport to their declared accommodation and remain isolated until their test results are confirmed negative. All transportation and accommodation costs must be borne by visitors.
Visiting from Singapore
Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control announced a temporary ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting Taiwan, except for residents (ARC/APRC/Gold cards). Humanitarian or emergency exceptions may be made. A special permit is required in such cases from the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore before their trip.
All passengers travelling to Taiwan are required to present a certificate of negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test before boarding and departure and must undergo a designated amount of quarantine (may be a one-week or two-week period) at a designated hotel or facility. They must also undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arriving at the Taiwanese airport and a second test at the end of their isolation period.
Details may change on short notice due to COVID-19 developments, so you may check for the latest updates on https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En for any changes to entry restrictions.
See also: List of Travel bubbles for Singapore
Other Countries with an Air Travel Bubble with Singapore
|Green Lane Arrangement||Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China*
*Applies only to travellers from Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhejiang
|Business and official travellers|
|Vaccinated travellers entering Singapore from countries do not need to quarantine||Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.||All travellers|
|Short-term travellers from these countries are exempt from quarantine||Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, and Taiwan.||Travellers who test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival|
|Travel bubble negotiations underway||Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand, Australia||All travellers|
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