Travel: What you should know besides getting vaccinated
05 Oct 2021

Travel: What you should know besides getting vaccinated

All-in-one information regarding travel at your fingertips. This article was produced in partnership with Tripzilla.

We can finally start seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel as our Lion City is working its way towards a COVID-19 resilient nation. With that, the resumption of travel to a semblance of normalcy in Singapore may very well be in the air (quite literally!) after a long hiatus. For travel-starved individuals like you and me, the possibility of leisure trips resuming soon certainly sounds like music to our ears.

Let’s take a look at the various factors that may allow it to happen without much delay. In the meantime, we can also acquaint ourselves with a plethora of travel norms that will shape the future of our favourite pastime. That way, once Singapore gives the green light to travel, all that’s left for us to do is to book a flight ticket to our dream destination.

Now that travel is in prospect, sign up for a DBS Visa Debit Card — the ultimate travel card with a slew of benefits to make your holiday a more delightful experience.

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Will travel resumption in Singapore achieve a semblance of normalcy? Signs points to a high ‘yes’

1.   Announcement of SHN-free travel

If you’ve been keeping abreast with updates from the government, you would be aware of the possibility of travel sans stay home notice (SHN) order upon returning. Just a recap: Singapore recently announced that vaccinated individuals may be able to travel without serving a 14-day SHN at a hotel. Instead, in its place will be a rigorous testing regime or a shorter seven-day SHN at home — determined by the risk profile of the place visited.

Singapore will kick this off by establishing travel corridors with countries or regions that have kept COVID-19 at bay, and where the infection is comparably under control. The cherry on top: It has chosen Germany and Brunei for its Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) scheme before extending it to other countries. As Singaporeans can already travel to Germany without serving a quarantine there, you may be able to quell your wanderlust with novel experiences — all without worrying about quarantine. Since this is just the beginning, we can expect more countries to be added to the list if it proves to be successful.

2.   High vaccination rate in Singapore

"Vaccinated already not?", "How many doses did you take ah?" and "Which vaccine you took leh?" are questions that have been dominating our daily conversations. It comes as no surprise given the fact that our country is ramping up vaccine roll-out. After all, Singapore’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is fundamental in the country’s progressive reopening. Not only will it curtail the risk of transmission, it will also double up as a "shield" for our ever-growing population.

As of 27 Aug, Singapore has administered a total of 8,667,278 life-saving doses. Plus, a whopping 4,291,659 individuals have been fully vaccinated against the disease. Given the sheer number, Singapore bags the first spot for countries in Asia with the highest vaccination rates. And with that, our country is on track to fully vaccinate 80% of the residents by next month. Once it achieves its desired rate, Singapore will be able to make headway in opening up the economy, social activities, and travel according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

3.   COVID-19 surveillance testing

Ever wondered why we have been able to keep the number of community cases relatively low as compared to other countries? The short answer to that shared by MOH is: effective surveillance, active case finding, and containment efforts.

In the sense of travel, Singapore mandates a multitude of tests including on-arrival tests and tests during SHN depending on the individual’s travel and transit history. While it may seem like a hassle, they are vital to enable early detection and ring-fencing of cases especially with new variants of COVID-19 emerging.

For both Singaporeans returning from overseas and foreigners arriving in Singapore, all these requirements ensure prompt identification of such cases and expeditious isolation when necessary. All these are necessary steps Singapore must take to safeguard the wellbeing of citizens as it makes further moves to reopen borders.

4.   Stringent contact tracing

Image credit: Official Website

From what we've learned so far, the essence of effective COVID-19 management lies in keeping the COVID-19 situation well-monitored and achieving a high vaccination rate. These are just things Singapore must continuously do in order to transition to the next stage of reopening. That said, contact tracing, as we all know, plays a very important role. And, it’s something that our country takes very seriously — so much so that a nifty device colloquially known as the "TraceTogether Token" was conceived to help trace people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 swiftly.

Likewise, other countries all over the world are developing similar mobile applications. The uniform objectives: to disintegrate the chains of COVID-19 transmission and nip community cluster outbreaks in the bud. For potential tourists like you and me, having to install such apps while we’re on a holiday adds a layer of security for our well-being. We can be notified speedily and healthcare can be rendered efficiently, even in a foreign place. Isn't it comforting to know that we can rely on technology to put our worst fears to rest?

Travel norms that will shape the industry

1.   Travel requirements

After screeching to a halt, travel is ready to make a comeback. As we countdown to the days we can cross borders again, let’s psych up for a whole new ballgame shaped by the pandemic. Beyond the social norms of mask-wearing, social distancing, and adopting good hygiene that are deeply entrenched in us now, changes in new forms are expected to come into sight and remain for a long time.

For example, the rise of digital health passports — digital documentation that stores accurate information including passenger’s vaccination status and COVID-19 test results. Given that many countries mandate specific pre-entry requirements, they will come in handy for verification purposes while enhancing the safety and efficiency of travel.

2.   Touchless technology

Besides that, the integration of touchless technology will be prevalent as we steer towards a more "hands-off" way of life. Hotels, airports, tourist attractions are amongst places that will incorporate such features to reduce common touchpoints where pathogens thrive. Motion-activated lights and doors, facial recognitions, voice-activated sensors, and multifarious solutions will revolutionise our experiences for the better.

Speaking of touchless technology, a DBS Visa Debit Card is the way forward to reduce cash handling during your travels.

Simply enable your card for overseas usage to enable cashless payments in the blink of an eye, while avoiding foreign exchange and debit card fees. No physical contact and unnecessary fees — sounds like a win-win situation!

3.   Travel corridors

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of all will be the rise of travel corridors. They are essentially an exclusive agreement between two destinations that are significantly successful in combating COVID-19 in their own rights to facilitate travel without the need to quarantine. That's an appealing prospect as we can cut down greatly on our vacation leaves and spend the majority of our holiday actually doing touristy things instead of being confined in a room.

4.   Travel insurance

The importance of travel insurance is something we may take with a pinch of salt prior to this pandemic. But, as you plan your holiday now, it is something you should consider investing in. Reason being: You afford yourself the peace of mind you deserve, especially during this unprecedented time.

If you're scouring for comprehensive coverage without burning a hole in your pocket, TravellerShield Plus is a good call. Safeguard yourself against a plethora of unforeseen events with a variety of plans, addressing your specific needs. From COVID-19 cover to coverage on overseas medical expenses and baggage loss or damage, the list goes on. To top it off, you can also add on benefits for coverage on pre-existing conditions (a unique feature that will allay the concerns of many). Lock in your travel insurance early and leave it to TravellerShield Plus to see to it that your sojourn goes smoothly!

Now more than ever during the pandemic, we have learned that preparing for unpredicted situations is of the essence. So, take proactive steps to safeguard your welfare and avert any build-up of stress and tension during your journey.

Purchase TravellerShield Plus before 31 Dec 2021 and enjoy:

55% off for a single trip plan and 25% off for an annual multi-trip plan

With incredible savings, there’s no reason for you to not get comprehensive coverage with DBS/POSB.

Countries that Singaporeans may travel to

Now, let's get to the nitty gritty of where Singaporeans can actually travel to at the moment!

AfghanistanWith restrictions
AlbaniaNo restrictions
AngolaWith restrictions
AnguillaWith restrictions
Antigua And BarbudaWith restrictions
ArmeniaWith restrictions
ArubaWith restrictions
AustriaWith restrictions
BarbadosWith restrictions
BelarusWith restrictions
BangladeshWith restrictions
BelizeWith restrictions
BelgiumWith restrictions
BoliviaWith restrictions
BermudaWith restrictions
BotswanaWith restrictions
BrazilWith restrictions
Bosnia and HerzegovinaWith restrictions
BulgariaWith restrictions
British Virgin IslandsWith restrictions
BurundiWith restrictions
Burkina FasoWith restrictions
Cape VerdeWith restrictions
Central African RepublicWith restrictions
Caribbean NetherlandsWith restrictions
ChadWith restrictions
ComorosWith restrictions
ColombiaNo restrictions
CubaWith restrictions
Costa RicaNo restrictions
CyprusWith restrictions
Czech RepublicWith restrictions
CuraçaoWith restrictions
DenmarkWith restrictions
DjiboutiWith restrictions
Democratic Republic of the CongoWith restrictions
Dominican RepublicNo restrictions
DominicaWith restrictions
EgyptWith restrictions
El SalvadorWith restrictions
EcuadorNo restrictions
EthiopiaWith restrictions
EstoniaNo restrictions
Equatorial GuineaNo restrictions
FranceNo restrictions
FinlandWith restrictions
GabonWith restrictions
GambiaWith restrictions
French PolynesiaWith restrictions
GermanyWith restrictions
GhanaWith restrictions
GeorgiaWith restrictions
GreeceWith restrictions
GibraltarWith restrictions
GuadeloupeWith restrictions
GuamWith restrictions
Guinea-BissauWith restrictions
GuatemalaWith restrictions
GuyanaWith restrictions
HaitiWith restrictions
HondurasWith restrictions
IcelandWith restrictions
IranWith restrictions
IrelandWith restrictions
IraqWith restrictions
ItalyWith restrictions
Ivory CoastWith restrictions
JamaicaWith restrictions
JerseyWith restrictions
JordanWith restrictions
KenyaWith restrictions
KyrgyzstanWith restrictions
KosovoWith restrictions
LatviaWith restrictions
LebanonWith restrictions
LiberiaWith restrictions
LuxembourgWith restrictions
MaldivesWith restrictions
MaliWith restrictions
MaltaWith restrictions
MartiniqueWith restrictions
MauritaniaWith restrictions
MauritiusWith restrictions
MexicoNo restrictions
MoldovaWith restrictions
MoroccoWith restrictions
MontenegroWith restrictions
MozambiqueWith restrictions
NamibiaWith restrictions
NepalWith restrictions
NetherlandsNo restrictions
NicaraguaWith restrictions
NigerWith restrictions
NigeriaWith restrictions
Northern Mariana IslandsWith restrictions
North MacedoniaWith restrictions
PakistanWith restrictions
PalauWith restrictions
Palestinian TerritoriesWith restrictions
PanamaWith restrictions
ParaguayWith restrictions
PeruWith restrictions
PortugalWith restrictions
Puerto RicoWith restrictions
QatarWith restrictions
Republic of the CongoWith restrictions
RéunionWith restrictions
RomaniaNo restrictions
RussiaWith restrictions
RwandaWith restrictions
Saint BarthélemyWith restrictions
Saint LuciaWith restrictions
Saint Kitts and NevisWith restrictions
Saint MartinWith restrictions
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesWith restrictions
São Tomé and PríncipeWith restrictions
Saudi ArabiaWith restrictions
Sierra LeoneWith restrictions
SerbiaWith restrictions
SeychellesWith restrictions
Solomon IslandsWith restrictions
SlovakiaWith restrictions
SloveniaWith restrictions
South AfricaWith restrictions
Sri LankaWith restrictions
South SudanWith restrictions
SpainWith restrictions
SurinameWith restrictions
St. MaartenWith restrictions
SudanWith restrictions
SwedenWith restrictions
SwitzerlandWith restrictions
TanzaniaWith restrictions
TajikistanWith restrictions
ThailandWith restrictions
TogoWith restrictions
The BahamasWith restrictions
TunisiaWith restrictions
TurkeyWith restrictions
Turks and Caicos IslandsWith restrictions
Trinidad and TobagoWith restrictions
TuvaluWith restrictions
UgandaWith restrictions
UkraineWith restrictions
United KingdomWith restrictions
U.S. Virgin IslandsWith restrictions
UkraineWith restrictions
UzbekistanWith restrictions
United Arab EmiratesWith restrictions
United StatesWith restrictions
VenezuelaWith restrictions
ZambiaWith restrictions
ZimbabweWith restrictions

Note: Information is subject to change, depending on COVID-19 travel updates worldwide.

This list only serves to depict the various countries’ opening status for Singaporeans. Do bear in mind that there will be a different set of restrictions when you’re entering Singapore from these countries such as the SHN order. However, as Singapore eyes ‘Transition Stage A’ next in its four-stage roadmap, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the need for quarantine will be eradicated.

As you plan for your highly-anticipated holiday, check out DBS’s marketplace for leisure and travel. It's an all-in-one platform that allows you to enjoy a seamless booking process right from your flights to your hotel stays. Apart from special rates and flexible payments, you can also offset your DBS Marketplace for Leisure and Travel purchases with DBS Points/Daily$!

We know how excited you are at the thought of travelling!

That’s why we suggest signing up for a DBS Visa Debit Card to prepare for your holiday. Link it to your multi-currency account to enjoy added layers of security, get FX alerts to monitor exchange rate, and more for your next trip!

In the meantime, let’s do our part to keep COVID-19 at bay so that travel can happen!

Tell us if you will consider using our lifestyle banking tips




TravellerShield Plus is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (“Chubb”) and distributed by DBS Bank Ltd (“DBS”). It is not an obligation of, deposit in or guaranteed by DBS. This is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the terms, conditions and exclusions of the insurance are provided in the policy wordings and will be sent to you upon acceptance of your application by Chubb.

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation ("SDIC"). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact Chubb or visit the General Insurance Association or SDIC websites.