The nation is abuzz with excitement with the recent announcement that Singapore is expanding the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) program with bilateral travel admission between Singapore and these nations, including Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This is certainly an impressive leap forward, and we wait in anticipation for more nations to be added.
Essentials of post-pandemic travel
Yes, pack your luggage, book a ticket and accommodation, but don’t forget the procedures for departing from Singapore, or insuring your travel plans. Travelling is not the same as pre-pandemic. What are some of the essentials to ensure happy and safe travel for the coming months?
- Check official sites for things you must do prior to travel. safetravel.ica.gov.sg has a consolidated list of official sites for travel advisories where you can find all the documents required and control measures. Check out the latest advisories from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs where you can get Pre-Departure Tests (PDT), what are the PDT/vaccination certificates required. which are the latest safe travel lanes out of, and back to Singapore before booking those tickets.
- Get adequate insurance to cover the entire travel for a peace of mind. Some of the worries travellers have to contend with include potential medical, hospitalisation, and accommodation requirements due to COVID-19, or secondary challenges. Secondary challenges were unheard of prior to COVID-19, such as instances where travel must be cancelled or postponed because of contracting COVID-19, or disruptions due to unforeseen events arising at the destination, including local trip cancellations, missed connections, flight diversions, or even insolvency of travel agents or airlines. Yes, airlines do go bust in the COVID-19 era! Be sure to find travel insurance that covers overseas medical expenses, trip delay, postponement or cancellation, travel agency insolvency and even the worst case scenario of unexpected demise. Before the trip, check with your health insurer where and how to seek medical attention if you get sick and what is covered in your policy.
- Bring adequate supplies and qualifying masks (e.g. N95/KN95) to places that still need them. Mask mandates varies from country to country. What type of masks is accepted, where you need to wear them can be confusing. Useful resources such as Re-open EU and Korea’s Ministry of Health & Welfare web site provides the latest updates of social distancing and mask wearing advice in Europe and S. Korea respectively. Pack sufficient hand sanitisers, disinfectant wipes, phone sanitisers to keep you safe and healthy during the trip, and some at-home COVID test kits and a thermometer for good measure.
2022 looks set to become the year of recovery and rejuvenation. We are all part of this brave new world of people who will rediscover relationships, destinations, journeys, and experiences. Let us open our doors, put on our shoes, and step out to the new world, all over again.