Singapore is restricting ticket sales via its vaccinated travel lanes in light of the spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Singapore’s vaccinated travel lane scheme allows travelers to enter the country on designated flights from certain countries without the need to quarantine. Testing requirements are still in place, however.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on December 22, 2021 that it was taking steps to “manage the inflow of VTL travelers and mitigate the risk to the Singapore community”.
Therefore, with effect from 2359 local time on December 22, 2021, Singapore will not permit any new ticket sales on designated VTL flights until 2359 local time on January 20, 2022. From January 21, 2022, the CAAS will cap total ticket sales at 50% of the allocated quota.
“CAAS will continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and adjust the measures to protect travelers, airport workers, air crew and the community,” the authority said in a statement.
Which countries are in the VTL scheme?
The active VTL countries are currently: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Plans to extend the VTL scheme to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already been deferred due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Many countries around the world have moved to tighten testing and entry restrictions as a result of the emergence of Omicron, first detected in November in South Africa.
It remains to be seen how the latest wave of COVID-19 infections and the Omicron variant will affect the Singapore Airshow, due to take place in a shortened format with no public days from February 15-18 2022.
However, several other major trade gatherings have already been affected by Omicron. The World Economic Forum has postponed its annual January meeting in Davos, Switzerland until mid-2022 and tech companies have said they will not be sending employees to the Consumer Electronics Show, due to take place from January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas.