Singaporeans can travel to parts of China soon for essential business, official trips

A departure gate at Changi Airport in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans will be able to travel to certain parts of China for essential business or official trips soon.

In a joint press release on Wednesday (3 June), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said that the “reciprocal fast lane” arrangement between both countries will allow residents to travel between the city-state and six Chinese provinces and municipalities.

They are Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Zhejiang. The fast lane arrangement will be gradually expanded to other Chinese provinces and municipalities, the ministries said. The press release did not specify a date for its launch.

As Singapore moves towards Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period, such arrangements are part of the city-state’s gradual reopening of borders for Singaporeans and residents to conduct essential activities overseas and to allow safe travel for foreigners entering Singapore in limited numbers, they added.

Business or official travellers sponsored by government agencies who are travelling into Singapore may submit applications through their respective sponsors from 8 June.

Applications for company-sponsored travellers can be submitted in a later phase.

They will have to file SafeTravel Pass applications on behalf of the applicant. When the application is approved, an approval letter will be issued to the applicant, as well as the sponsoring company or government agency.

With this letter, an approved applicant who is a visa-required passport holder will proceed to apply for a visa for travel to Singapore through the usual channels, if necessary.

Similarly, Singapore residents in Singapore seeking to make essential travel to China via the fast lane must be sponsored by either a company or a government agency in China, which will file an application on behalf of the applicant with the local provincial or municipal authorities.

Pre-departure PCR test

Approved applicants travelling from either country must monitor their health status before departure, take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours before departure and obtain a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19.

Users of the fast lane between China and Singapore will bear the cost of the pre-departure PCR test.

In addition, applicants travelling from China to Singapore must have remained in any of the sending Chinese fast lane regions for the last seven days prior to departure for Singapore.

The applicant is required to produce a valid SafeTravel Pass, a negative PCR test result, a return air ticket, and a valid visa, where necessary, for pre-boarding checks, or risk facing refusal for boarding.

Approved applicants travelling from Singapore to China will undergo a PCR test and serology test after their arrival in China at their own cost, and remain in locations designated by the local provincial or municipal government for one to two days until the test result is released.

If the result indicates that the traveller has tested negative for COVID-19, the host company or government agency will transport the traveller directly from the above-mentioned locations to the workplace or residence.

If they test positive for COVID-19, the traveller will undergo medical treatment in China at their own cost.

Travellers to use TraceTogether app

An approved applicant travelling from China to Singapore will undergo a PCR test after arrival in Singapore.

The applicant is also required to produce a valid SafeTravel Pass and a negative PCR test result – from the test done prior to departure from China – to arrival immigration, or be denied entry.

Upon entry into Singapore, the applicant must remain in isolation at a self-sourced declared accommodation – non-residential – for one to two days until the test result is known.

The host company or government agency will transport the traveller directly from the airport to the declared self-sourced accommodation.

Travellers will bear the costs of the post-arrival PCR test in Singapore and stay in the declared accommodation.

If the result indicates that the traveller has tested negative for COVID-19, the host company or government agency will ensure that the traveller is transported directly from the declared accommodation to the workplace, and back.

If tested positive for COVID-19, travellers will undergo medical treatment at their cost.

The host company or government agency shall ensure that the travellers to Singapore use the TraceTogether app for the duration of their stay.

Limits on transportation options

Travellers must also adhere to a controlled itinerary supervised by the host company or government agency for the first 14 days.

They may not use public transportation for this purpose, with the exception of private hire cars or taxis or cohorted company transport.

For travellers from Singapore who need to travel between the fast lane regions in China within the first 14 days upon arrival, they shall, through the host company or government agency, obtain in advance the approval of the provincial/municipal government of the next destination.

The traveller will only be allowed to travel outside the six fast lane regions after staying within them for 14 days.

Upon arrival back in Singapore, Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore from China must monitor their health as well as show a copy of the invitation letter issued by the government authority in China to facilitate arrival immigration clearance.

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