The Big Story: First passengers on expanded VTL scheme arrive in S'pore

Catch up on the hottest topics on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

About 250 passengers arrived in Singapore on Wednesday (Oct 20) morning, on the first two flights under the expanded quarantine-free travel scheme for travellers vaccinated against Covid-19.

Flight SQ329 from the Netherlands, operated by Singapore Airlines, touched down at Changi Airport at about 6.35am with about 80 passengers on board.

About an hour and a half later, SQ317 from London landed, with about 170 passengers.

Multimedia journalist Kimberly Jow spoke to one of the passengers who flew in from Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, all eight bus interchange Covid-19 clusters have been closed, with the last one linked to Tampines Bus Interchange closed on Oct 15, the Land Transport Authority said on Tuesday night.

This comes around two months after the first two clusters involving bus interchanges - at Bishan and Sengkang - were announced on Aug 14.

Separately, rules barring unvaccinated people from entering malls kicked in on Wednesday, after a one-week grace period.

Entry to the shopping malls visited by ST was generally smooth.

The queue moved quickly despite staff conducting meticulous checks on visitors' vaccination status at entry points.

In non-Covid-19 news, certificates of entitlement ended higher all round in the latest tender on Wednesday, as news of a smaller quota for November-January emerged.