I just lately used the Vaccinated Journey Lane (VTL) established by Changi Airports and Singapore Airways to attend conferences in Germany. A couple of folks have requested what the expertise and course of had been like, so I’ve summarized the 5 prime suggestions for hassle-free journey to Germany from Singapore.

  1. take medical masks, not the cool-looking ones
  2. take printed copies of proof of your vaccination (they will get a bit dog-eared or beer-stained – see #5)
  3. bear in mind to take a PCR check earlier than returning to Singapore
  4. arrange a Secure Journey Concierge (STC) account
  5. benefit from the German meals and beer

I’ve gone into extra element on the important thing areas of frequent concern beneath.

Notice: The expertise and course of described beneath are for a Singapore Citizen/PR. No prior approval is required for Singaporean Residents or Everlasting Residents to fly again to Singapore. Employment Go holders and non-residents ought to test with the Airways.

Fly me to the moon

The board assembly that I used to be presenting at was initially scheduled to be in Madrid – which on the time was not VTL prepared, so the prospect of one other digital board assembly loomed. However when the board determined to maneuver the assembly to Berlin, the supply of VTL between Singapore and Germany meant that I might attend the assembly bodily by flying into Frankfurt and taking a 40 Euro, four-hour intercity specific to Berlin. I might then zip across the nation on trains for the subsequent week for varied conferences, taking in Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, and Frankfurt earlier than heading again to Singapore. Not solely was it nice to be flying once more it was additionally nice to be again on European trains.

With out utilizing the VTL flights, I’d have confronted the prospect of quarantine in a lodge on my return to Singapore. I’ve described the quarantine inns in a earlier put up (ten top-tips to outlive quarantine) and though the quarantine interval has been diminished to 10 days for many nations (from 14 days, and even 21 days earlier within the 12 months), I wasn’t eager to repeat the train.

There was no must take a particular flight out of Singapore, but it surely was important to be booked again on a VTL flight. There have been only some VTL flights per week again on Singapore Airways – from Frankfurt a minimum of – and so the return leg was dearer than the outward one (about 40% extra, I reckon). There was additionally a requirement to have ample Covid-friendly insurance coverage, and so I paid for a further single-trip coverage for round S$200.

Do I want a PCR check earlier than taking the flight to Germany? – No

For a double-vaccinated individual, there was no want for a PCR check earlier than leaving Singapore to Germany (whereas my journey earlier within the 12 months had required it). The wording on the SQ web site on the time was really a bit obscure on this, so I known as the airline and ‘double confirmed’.

Do I want proof of Vaccination? – Sure

Proof of vaccination was wanted on entry in Germany, in addition to proof of return flight and declaration of the aim of the journey. Though I’ve this in my HealthHub cellular app on my cellphone, I had printed out just a few copies of the Vaccination proof in Singapore, and this was immensely useful. In Germany to enter any constructing, or to eat inside a restaurant you have to abide by their “3G rule” which comes from the German ‘Geimpft, Genesen, Getestet’ (vaccinated, recovered, examined). In some locations, they insist on vaccination proof and never simply examined standing.

Are masks necessary? – Sure, however not simply any outdated masks

Inside buildings, in prepare stations, and on trains and planes it’s necessary to put on a masks – however not simply any outdated masks. Take a lot of medical-grade masks – the Blue/Pink hospital ones, not the Batik or material ones – or an FFP2 kind. Different masks usually are not accepted in lots of locations. Exterior masks usually are not wanted, and it’s refreshing to stroll about with out your sun shades steaming up.

Do I must scan a QR code to enter a constructing? – No

In Germany entry to most locations additionally requires both scanning in utilizing the ‘Luca’ app, which I didn’t arrange, or by filling in a chunk of paper together with your title, phone quantity, e mail, and date/time. I’m not satisfied that anybody reads or collates these types, and lots of restaurant employees acted uncharacteristically blasé about them, however they did test the Vaccination proof fastidiously.

Can I journey from Germany to Austria/Switzerland and many others? – Er, No

Though you’ll be able to simply drive or take a prepare from Germany to most of Europe, except you then spend the subsequent 14 days in Germany, you’re ‘unclean’. As extra nations get added to the VTL scheme this will change, however I used to be cautious to stay inside Germany. While you return to Singapore you have to make a declaration of the place you’ve gotten been, and a false declaration, if convicted, will get you a S$10,000 nice or six months in jail, or each.

Do I must do a PCR check earlier than returning to Singapore? – Sure, after which some extra

Earlier than returning to Singapore, a PCR check in Germany was necessary. These are broadly out there in most German cities (Berlin, Cologne, Munich, and Frankfurt) usually close to or in prepare stations, and at airports. To be on the secure facet I opted for an specific model 24 hours earlier than my flight, which value about 100 euros, however the end result was emailed to me inside an hour. To be legitimate for the VTL flight it should be a correct PCR check – swab and nostril – and that you must be sure to register together with your passport and deal with particulars. See www.coronatest.de for extra info (the positioning has an English-language choice).

I took a screenshot of the end result, and this was requested at check-in in Frankfurt and as soon as once more on arrival at immigration in Singapore.

Do that you must guide a PCR check for arrival in Singapore? – Sure, after which some extra

Earlier than departing Germany, you have to guide and pay for the PCR check in your arrival again in Singapore. The fee was S$160, and I took a screenshot of the QR code as soon as the fee was processed.

I like to recommend utilizing the Secure Journey Concierge (STC) App because it has a useful guidelines. Greatest to arrange an account upfront. For extra info see: Secure Journey Concierge FAQ

What else do that you must fill in earlier than flying again? – just some types

As prompted by the STC App above, that you must fill out an digital type giving your arrival info and well being declaration to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). This features a declaration on the place you’ve gotten been within the prior 14 days (Germany or Singapore is ok) see ICA for extra particulars.

How was the arrival in Singapore? – Clean and properly organized

On arrival in Singapore, I used to be rapidly guided via to the immigration desk after which given a few colored stickers. After amassing my checked-in baggage (which then should undergo a scanner and be disinfected), I used to be guided to the PCR registration desk in a short lived constructing set-up outdoors the terminal constructing, earlier than getting the PCR swab itself (throat and nostril/again of Mind).

It was then a Taxi house, by which period I had already been emailed a Keep Residence Discover (SHN) which started instantly, and I needed to isolate myself at house till my end result got here via. The end result – damaging – arrived inside 12 hours and was adopted by a confirmatory name from an immigration official. There was additionally a flurry of official emails reminding me to guide Day 3 and Day 5 PCR checks at authorized clinics.

General, the VTL is an indication we’re on the right track for residing and dealing with Covid. There are further prices and hassles of touring underneath this regime, however it’s rather more nice than doing a compulsory 10-day quarantine.

A reminder of the Prime 5 suggestions for easy journey from Singapore to Germany

  1. take medical masks, not the cool-looking ones
  2. take just a few copies of the proof of vaccination
  3. bear in mind to guide PCR check earlier than returning to Singapore
  4. arrange Secure Journey Concierge (STC) account
  5. benefit from the German meals and beer

Some extra helpful hyperlinks:

what guidelines apply for vaccinated folks:

high-risk areas or variant issues: