SINGAPORE - From Dec 7, Singapore will issue Covid-19 health certificates that are compatible with the European Union's (EU) Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) system, allowing for easier travel between the Republic and the continent.
This will also allow travellers holding these Singapore-issued digital certificates to access vaccination-differentiated measures or schemes within the EU, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said on Friday (Nov 26).
From Dec 7, Singapore will also accept Covid-19 vaccination certificates that are issued in the EU DCC format as proof of vaccination.
This means people from vaccinated travel lane (VTL) countries with the EU DCC documents can travel to Singapore on the VTLs even if the documents are issued in non-EU or non-VTL countries.
However, such travellers will still need to meet the other VTL conditions, such as recent travel history and testing, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said.
As at Nov 25, all 27 EU member states issue Covid-19 certificates in the EU DCC format, with another 24 non-member states also in the EU DCC system.
These 24 countries include Singapore, New Zealand, Israel, Turkey, Britain and Switzerland.
The move comes after the European Commission (EC) decided on Nov 24 to recognise Singapore's HealthCerts, which is the standard for digital pre-departure test and vaccination certificates here, as equivalent to the EU DCC.
"We welcome the EC's decision and note that Singapore is the first South-east Asian country to have been accorded such equivalent status," said Mr Iswaran at a virtual briefing.
"Our agencies are now finalising the technical link-up," he added.
The EC's decision has already led to Denmark lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers from Singapore, restoring two-way quarantine-free travel between the two countries.
On Friday, Singapore also tightened border measures for travellers from six European countries.
Travellers from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein and Slovakia will have to serve a 10-day stay-home notice (SHN) from Dec 1 as the Covid-19 situation worsens in these countries, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The six countries will be reclassified from Category 2 to Category 3 of MOH's Covid-19 risk assessment framework for border measures from 11.59pm on Dec 1.
Travellers from these countries currently have to serve a seven-day SHN at a declared place of accommodation.
Asked if this will affect the VTLs with Europe, Mr Iswaran said the countries under the scheme remain in Category 2 of MOH's risk assessment, hence the new, tightened border measures for the six European countries will not have an impact.
Currently, Singapore has operational VTLs with eight European nations, including France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Britain.
Two more VTLs, with Finland and Sweden, are set to begin next Monday (Nov 29).