SINGAPORE – The website for foreign travelers to travel to Singapore to apply for their vaccinated travel document crashed on Monday, November 22 despite the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) anticipating an increase in traffic.
The ICA had upgraded the SafeTravel website system over the weekend in anticipation of the increased user base, as both application windows for Indonesian and Malaysian travelers opened at 10 a.m. on Monday.
“But there was a configuration error,” the CIA reported on Monday evening. This caused the website to fail as almost 35,000 users attempted to log in at the same time.
The Straits Times understands that the site went down around noon, posting a message saying it was undergoing scheduled maintenance.
A check at 3 p.m. showed it was backed up, but a text box, citing high volume, advised users to log in later if they couldn’t access the app service.
The ICA added: “We regret the inconvenience caused and thank the applicants for their understanding.
“There is no quota for vaccinated tickets for air travel under the VTL. Singapore citizens and permanent residents do not need to apply to enter Singapore. “
Vaccinated tickets only apply to short-term foreign travelers and long-term pass holders.
The two vaccinated traffic routes (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia and Singapore and Indonesia are expected to start next Monday (November 29).
Applications for vaccinated travel passes for travelers from India also opened at 6 p.m., and the site continued to see high volume overnight.
Travel between Singapore and Malaysia has been overdue for some time since Malaysia closed its borders in March of last year.
Many families have members on both sides of the border, and the two countries have strong commercial ties. Over 10,000 Malaysians continue to live and work here after almost 20 months without being able to be with their families in Malaysia.
Prior to Covid-19, Singapore-Kuala Lumpur was the world’s busiest international air route, with around 40 daily flights and an average of 7,000 arrivals per day at Changi Airport.
Indonesia was one of Changi Airport’s three main markets before the pandemic. Even during Covid-19 last year, it accounted for 11.6% of the Republic’s tourism revenue.
The current VTL, however, is one-way – although Indonesian travelers are allowed to enter without quarantine, Singaporean travelers remain excluded from Indonesia.