Many Singaporeans studying and working overseas welcomed the news that Singapore has launched Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) to let fully vaccinated individuals enter Singapore without having to serve a stay-home notice.
It has been a difficult two years for many of us away from family and friends.
I have booked my daughter a VTL flight back to Singapore next month to reunite with the family.
She has two Pfizer vaccinations administered by the University of Illinois Chicago in April.
She has documented proof, and the digital data is accessible through the state’s public health database.
However, Singapore’s Safe Travel Office recognises only the Smart Health Card format for travellers from the United States and Canada, which do not have a unified national system for issuing vaccination certificates. Not all US states have signed up to use the Smart Health Card format.
I have e-mailed the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the Safe Travel Office, as well as the Ministry of Health and the multi-ministry task force, to explain the situation and provide documents that show the dates, place and type of vaccination.
I received a standard reply both times that said only the Smart Health Card format will be recognised for the VTL scheme.
I don’t think my daughter is the only person affected by this narrow approach (Some travellers face issues getting VTL pass to enter S’pore due to differences in vaccine certification, Oct 18).
The Safe Travel Office needs to be more inclusive and accept authenticated proof of vaccination from accredited healthcare providers and states beyond the Smart Health Card format.
Koh Ching Hong