It feels like forever since anyone travelled overseas for leisure, but after over a year and a half of travel restrictions, Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) will finally allow us (the vaccinated folks) to travel again, without quarantine.

If you’re looking to travel to Germany on the VTL for your long overdue getaway, make sure you pack your film cameras for all the aesthetic shots to capture on trip, and find out how you can stay connected while in Germany! But, not before you do the necessary travel preparations! Read on for all the travel tips you need to know.

First things first: Understanding the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)

In a nutshell, under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), fully vaccinated travellers can skip quarantine when travelling between Germany and Singapore, provided they test negative for four PCR tests upon their way to Singapore (more on that later).

A person is only considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they’ve received the full dosage of a vaccine listed under WHO’s Emergency Use Listing. In order to qualify for travel via the VTL, they must also have only been in Germany or Singapore for the last 21 days before departure.

1. Pre-trip planning

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Bespoke postcards for when you travel overseas to Berlin, Germany.

Once you’ve decided on what to include in your bucket list (perhaps a trip to the Palmengarten in Frankfurt?), it’s time to iron out all the things you need, besides the travel must-haves, to prepare for your trip.

Let’s talk about flight booking. Singaporeans and permanent residents can book any available direct flight to Germany, and return on a designated VTL flight or non-VTL flight (more details below). As of the time of writing, only two airlines offer designated VTL flights: Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

Before departing from Singapore via Changi Airport, travellers will have to present one of the following: Proof of a negative Covid-19 swab test result carried out within 72 hours of arrival in Germany, proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, or proof of recovery from a Covid-19 infection within the last six months to 28 days.

2. While in Germany

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Masked travellers on a bus, an indication of post-pandemic travel.

Much like in Singapore, life is (relatively) business as usual for fully vaccinated folks — attractions are open, dining in is allowed, and contact tracing is required wherever you go. Masks are also required onboard any public transport, in stores and busy outdoor places where the minimum distance to others cannot be maintained or enforced.

When in doubt, just wear the masks as you would in Singapore for safe travel. That is, all the time except when eating and drinking.

It’s important to note that only masks that fulfil the requirements of an FFP2 or a KN95/N95 are permitted for use in Germany. Regular masks, especially cloth masks, don’t cut it. Fortunately, appropriate masks are readily available for sale in Singapore! Or you can always head to a nearby Apotheke (That’s what they call pharmacies in Germany) to grab more if you run out of masks for use during your stay.

As different regions within Germany hold different coronavirus regulations, and these are often updated according to changing circumstances, do regularly check the website of the relevant federal state for the latest information especially if you’re visiting multiple cities in Germany.

For example, while the country’s 3G rule — geimpft (vaccinated), genesen (recovered) and getestet (tested) — generally applies across most cities, in certain places within Hamburg, they adopt the 2G rule instead. Under the 2G rule, only those who are fully vaccinated or have fully recovered are allowed service, but if you’re travelling via the VTL, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.  

3. Before returning to Singapore

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Get excited for scenic views in Germany once more!

Prior to returning to Singapore, you’ll have to submit your health, travel history and accommodation declarations via the SG Arrival Card e-service no earlier than three days prior to your date of arrival in Changi Airport, Singapore.

In lieu of a quarantine, vaccinated travellers will have to undergo four PCR tests, the first of which must be taken within 48 hours of their departure to Singapore. So it’s recommended to allocate enough time to head down to the airport to get swab tested and receive your results before check-in!

On the day of departure, proof of your vaccination status and the certificate from the aforementioned PCR test must be presented to the airport staff.

4. Once you’re back in Changi Airport, Singapore

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Arriving in Changi Airport, Singapore.

Upon arrival at Changi Airport, officers at the immigration counters will instruct you to collect your luggage and clear customs before proceeding to a tent outside for your second PCT swab test.

Once that’s done, immediately head to your declared accommodation via private transportation and remain in isolation until you receive a negative test result in a day or two. Thereafter, you’re free to go fuel up at all the new eateries in Jewel and Changi Airport.

Apart from having to undergo another two more post-arrival Covid-19 PCR tests by 3:00 pm on Day 3 and 7 of arrival, there’s nothing else you have to do post-getaway.

Not eligible for the VTL but still wish to travel to Germany?

Those who don’t meet the requirements for travel via the VTL but still wish to take a trip to Germany, you can still do so. As Singapore is classified as a non-risk area, Singapore residents can travel to Germany and are not required to undergo quarantine upon arrival in Germany. If you haven’t got proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, you will need to provide at least one of the following before entering Germany:

  • Proof of negative Covid-19 test result 72 hours prior to arrival in Germany
  • Proof of recovery from Covid-19 infection

More information can be found here.

Upon your return, as Germany is currently classified under Category 2 of Singapore’s border measures, you will need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Take a Covid-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to departure to Singapore
  • Take a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival in Singapore
  • Serve a 7-day SHN at your accommodation of choice (at home, in a hotel or service apartment)
  • Take a Covid-19 PCR test on the 7th day of SHN

More information can be found here.

It’s been a while since we’ve gone on an overseas trip so it pays to be extra careful to make the best out of this long-deserved getaway. Sure, there’s quite a lot to take into consideration, but these are all necessary for safe travel nowadays! Not quite ready to travel? You can still experience the luxury of travelling by going for well-planned staycations in Singapore.

Besides, the freedom of being able to fly without having to quarantine? Unbeatable.

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