NOW that vaccinated Filipino tourists can travel to Singapore without spending time in quarantine, Singapore has launched a tourism promotions campaign that includes a video blog focusing on what is new at sites Pinoys are familiar with.
Filipino visitors to the city-state can avoid quarantine by booking flights through the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).
The first batch of VTL flights was launched in Sept. 2021. To date, there are more than 32 VTL flights to Singapore. Earlier this month, local carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia Philippines began quarantine-free trips to Singapore.
REQUIREMENTS FOR VTL FLIGHTS
During an online press conference on March 23, Singapore Tourism Board Area Director Ruby Liu presented the requirements and guidelines for traveling via VTL flights.
VTL flights to Singapore are open to fully vaccinated adults. Unvaccinated children may travel provided they are accompanied by a vaccinated traveler. Fully vaccinated recovered travelers must present a certificate of recovery. Prior to the trip, tourists are required to take an ART COVID-19 test administered by a health professional two days before the flight. Tourists are to take a self-swab ART using a self-procured kit within 24 hours upon arrival. Test results are to be uploaded on www.sync.gov.sg before proceeding with activities.
Other requirements include an application for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (http://eservices.ica.gov.sg/STO1/VTL) three days before the flight, COVID-19 Travel insurance ($30,000), an SG e-arrival card, downloading the Trace Together app for contact tracing, and a passport.
About 100,000 tourists were able to visit Singapore without spending time in quarantine since Sept. 2021 said Ms. Liu.
As of March 13, 91% of the Singaporean population has been vaccinated, with 70% have already having received their booster shots.
While in Singapore, tourists are required to wear masks in public areas. A maximum of five people are allowed at a table and inter-mingling is discouraged. Tourists are also required to create a Trace Together account for contact tracing, and when entering public places.
‘SINGAPORE REIMAGINE’ CAMPAIGN
With the return of tourists to the country, the Singapore Tourism Board is launching the “Singapore Reimagine” campaign.
As part of the campaign, a video series has been released with comedian Victor Anastacio called “VicTour Singapore” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dh4RdqPz5g), where viewers can join Mr. Anastacio as he explores various neighborhoods in Singapore.
“It’s really challenging to be stuck at home and stuck within your neighborhood. Now, you can discover other neighborhoods. We’ve been through a lot. You deserve to just eat, drink, and travel,” Mr. Anastacio said.
In the first two episodes, the vlog highlights places in Orchard Road and Chinatown.
“We selected two neighborhoods that we think Filipinos are very familiar with. We want travelers to see it in a different light,” Ms. Liu said.
Launched in Aug. 2021 at Orchard Road, the Museum of Ice Cream is where tourists can learn about the history of ice cream, and eat as much ice cream as they want. The vlog also looks into the flavors of Singapore and its rich history by visiting Candlenut, the only Peranakan restaurant awarded a Michelin star, also on Orchard Road.
Singaporean’s passion for the arts is seen in the murals that line the streets, including works by the celebrated Yip Yew Chong that depict personal and authentic Singaporean sights.
Mr. Anastacio takes a trip to Chinatown that includes a tea party at the Sweetea Café; a visit to the socially conscious multi-concept store The Social Space, a boutique-café-nail salon that has a wide range of sustainability goods to take home; and, for a bit of exciting nightlife, Native Bar, where locals and foreigners alike come to try homegrown drinks.
“The next time you travel, it should be different. Don’t just do the same things again,” Ms. Liu said. “Don’t rush. Take the time to enjoy your trip. Do something different.”
For updates on Singapore travel, entry, as well as departure guidelines and requirements, visitors can refer to https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/vtl/requirements-and-process. For more information on the sights, go to visitsingapore.com or http://www.facebook.com/VisitSingaporePH. For information on accredited hotels and accommodations, visit https://sha.org.sg/. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman