SINGAPORE: The launch of Singapore’s vaccinated travel lane (VTL) arrangements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will be deferred as a “precautionary move” to reduce the risk of importation and spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.
VTLs to these countries, originally scheduled to launch from Dec 6, will now be deferred “until further notice”, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday (Nov 28).
“This is in view of their proximity as transport nodes to the affected countries of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe,” it said in a news release.
“We will provide more details on the commencement of these VTLs at a later date.”
It was previously announced that VTL applications for short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will open on Monday.
The Omicron variant, first discovered in South Africa, was designated by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern” on Friday.
No cases of this variant has been detected here so far, MOH said.