SINGAPORE - Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer have to fill in an online health declaration when entering the country via its land checkpoints.
The move takes effect from Friday (April 15).
But all travellers arriving in Singapore via air or sea will have to continue to fill up the SG Arrival Card.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday (April 13) morning the move to waive the SG Arrival Card requirement at the land borders takes into account the volume of traffic at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.
It added that this waiver will provide greater convenience to eligible travellers, particularly those who cross the borders daily for employment and studies.
To qualify, eligible travellers must not have travelled to any country or region in the restricted category in the past seven days.
Countries in the restricted category are deemed by Singapore to place visitors at a higher risk of Covid-19 infection. No countries are on the list at the moment.
Those vaccinated against Covid-19 in Singapore must have their vaccination status reflected in the TraceTogether or HealthHub apps.
For those vaccinated outside of Singapore, their vaccination record must be entered into the Ministry of Health’s registry upon their first entry into the country.
This can be done via submitting their digital overseas vaccination certificate through ICA’s vaccination check portal before arriving in Singapore.
If they possess only a non-digital overseas vaccination certificate or are unable to submit their digital certificate online, they will have to present their vaccination certificate to ICA officers at the manual immigration counters upon arrival.
All other travellers arriving via the land checkpoints are still required to submit their health declaration via the SG Arrival Card e-Service within three days of their arrival in Singapore.
This group includes non-fully vaccinated Singapore residents and long-term pass holders, as well as all short-term visitors.
The SG Arrival Card was introduced as a requirement for all travellers arriving in Singapore from March 27, 2020, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
On why the health declaration requirement was only eased at land checkpoints, an ICA spokesman said those checkpoints are predominantly used by Singapore residents and long-term pass holders.
In comparison, the air and sea checkpoints are used by travellers from around the world.
“There are no plans to lift the health declaration requirement at air and sea borders at this juncture, as it remains an important way for us to detect upstream infectious diseases of concern that might be imported by travellers from a wide range of countries,” the spokesman added, citing diseases such as Covid-19, yellow fever and Ebola.
ICA also said on Wednesday that travellers who are planning to enter Malaysia via land during the upcoming Good Friday weekend are advised to factor in additional time for immigration clearance.
"At the peak of the Good Friday long weekend period in 2019, travellers departing Singapore via the land checkpoints by car and motorcycle had to wait for up to three hours and one-and-a-half hours respectively," said ICA.
"Those arriving by car had to wait for up to one hour during the same period."
The authority urged travellers to avoid departing Singapore between 4pm on Thursday and 2am on Friday, as well as between 5am and 1pm on Friday.
Inbound travellers should try to enter Singapore before noon on Sunday.
ICA urged travellers to prepare all necessary documents, update new passport particulars and comply with all other requirements so as to avoid issues while clearing immigration.
Since the reopening of the land border on April 1, traffic jams and long queues at the checkpoints have become a regular sight at the Causeway once again.
Last weekend, pictures of the congestion at the Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints were shared on social media.