Singapore will freeze all new ticket sales for flights and buses under its programme for quarantine-free travel into the city-state from December 23 to January 20, the government said, citing risk from the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Under the vaccinated travel lane programme, Singapore allows quarantine-free entry from some countries to fully vaccinated travellers, who also have to do regular testing.
In a communication posted on its website, Singapore Airlines said: “With effect from 2359hrs (SGT) on 22 December 2021, Singapore Airlines will stop accepting new bookings for all Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights into Singapore that are scheduled between 23 December 2021 and 20 January 2022 (both dates inclusive). This follows the Singapore government’s directive to suspend new bookings during this time.”
“SIA customers with an existing confirmed booking on a VTL flight during this period, and have successfully applied for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (if applicable), are not affected by this directive and can proceed with their travel plans. There is no change to existing VTL or test requirements, and travellers with existing bookings may enter Singapore quarantine free if they meet all VTL requirements. Transit passengers are not affected by this directive. Customers who wish to transit via Singapore on VTL flights during this period may continue to book their flights,” the airline added.
Under the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) programme, Singapore allows quarantine-free entry from some countries to fully vaccinated travellers on designated flights or buses. The travellers have to undergo regular testing.
Singapore has set up these lanes for about two dozen countries, including Australia, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The government said it will also temporarily reduce the VTL quotas and ticket sales for travel after Jan. 20, 2022. For flights, the total ticket sales will be capped at 50% of the allocated quota.
“Our border measures 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 health ministry said in a statement.