Singapore laws for tourists
Singapore Travel Tips

Singapore laws for tourists

01/19/2020
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Singapore laws for Tourists

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Planning a trip and wondering what are the most important Singapore laws for tourists? You’ve come to the right place. Singapore is known for its cleanliness, low crime rates and laws. 

Singapore also has some of the strictest laws in Southeast Asia. Whether you are trying to decide which is the best city to live in Asia or if you simply want to explore Singapore, here are some important things to know.

Where is Singapore

The Republic of Singapore is a sovereign island nation located just off the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia. Singapore is situated between Malaysia and Indonesia in Southeast Asia. Right between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. 

The most common question about: Is Singapore a city, an island or a country? 

Singapore is an island nation, both a city and a country, with a population of 5.8 million (2019).

Do you need a visa to go to Singapore

Singapore has one of the most powerful passports in the world, Singaporeans can visit 159 countries visa-free and their government has gone out of their way to accommodate more visitors. 

Singapore laws for tourist

Singapore Visa-free map

African passport holders should keep in mind that Singapore has a Mandatory yellow fever vaccination for most African countries. Learn more.

Singapore laws for tourists to know

Before visiting any country it’s important to read up on the laws and regulations so you can know what to expect.

Here are some important Singapore laws for tourists:

Singapore Alcohol Law

According to the Singaporean Alcohol Consumption Regulation, the Customs Act states that a drink will be considered alcohol if it contains more than 0.5% of alcohol by mass or by volume.

The legal drinking age in Singapore

The legal age for club entry: Clubs set their own rules as to the minimum age for entering, ranging from 18 years old to 23 years old.

Where it’s legal to drink alcohol in Singapore

The Liquor (Supply and Consumption) Act prohibits the consumption of alcohol in public places. If you are caught drinking in public, you may be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to 1 month.

The sale of alcohol from retail outlets between 10.30 pm and 7 am is illegal but you can consume alcohol in restaurants and bars during those hours.

As of 18 Jan 2019, food products containing more than 0.5% alcohol can be bought after 10.30 pm. Such food products may include rum & raisin ice-cream, liquor-infused chocolate and cooking wine.

The prescribed alcohol limit is:

  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath
  • 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood.

Is Airbnb legal in Singapore

One of the most important Singapore laws for tourists is related to Airbnb in Singapore. There are no laws preventing guests from staying in Airbnb properties in Singapore but there are laws and penalties for property owners – which state that property rentals have to be at least either 6 months long (for flats) or 3 months long (for private properties like houses).

Flats cannot be rented to tourists. Rentals are only permitted for visitors holding student passes or long-term social visit passes.

It’s highly unlikely for a tourist to be arrested for staying at an Airbnb in Singapore but Private residential property owners found guilty of renting out their property for less than 3 months can be fined up to $200,000. If the rental continues even after conviction, the owner can be fined up to $10,000 for each extra day of the rental after.

There are legal restrictions on the number of people who can stay in a property at any one time.

For private residences, up to 6 unrelated people are allowed to stay in a property at any one time.  For Flats (Keep in mind that flat owners are not allowed to tent out their properties to tourists) – Only 6 persons, for 3-room flats; and 9 persons, for 4-room flats and larger.

Is Gum illegal in Singapore

Is chewing gum illegal in Singapore? Yes, you can chew gum in Singapore, however, it is illegal to import it and sell it.

The gym law was put into place in 1992, Since 2004, an exception has existed for therapeutic, dental, or nicotine chewing gum, which can be bought from a doctor or registered pharmacist.

If airport security finds gum in your possession, it might be confiscated. If you are found throwing gum on the ground, you will receive a fine. The penalty for selling gum can be as high as $100,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years.

Littering fine in Singapore

Singapore has a strict anti-littering enforcement regime that takes action against those who litter, with fines comprising a composition sum of $300 for the first offense. The law also offenders to clean public areas for a minimum of three hours, up to a maximum of 12 hours. This regime serves to increase recalcitrant offenders’ awareness of the impact of littering, as well as experience the difficulties faced by cleaners.

Can you smoke in Singapore

Smoking under the age of 18 is an offense in Singapore. An important Singapore law for tourists to know is that smoking in Singapore is only allowed in designated smoking areas, smokers are liable to a composition sum of $200 if caught smoking in prohibited places, or up to $1,000 if convicted in court. 

Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?

In Singapore, it is illegal to possess, purchase or use e-cigarettes, e-pipes, and e-cigarettes.

Are same-sex relationships legal in Singapore

The legislation on “Outrages on Decency” criminalizes same-sex relations. This law used to be under the umbrella of “unnatural sex” or sex “against the order of nature.” Violators of this law can cost the offender up to two years in prison.

Travel Insurance for Singapore

Use travel insurance while visiting Singapore so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous activities to do in SIN, and it’s best to have peace of mind while driving, hiking and trying some of the best food in the world.

Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!

7 Comments

  • Lerato
    01/20/2020 at 1:42 AM

    Thank you so much for reading.

  • Lerato
    01/20/2020 at 1:42 AM

    Hi Krystianna, I’m glad you found this helpful

  • Lerato
    01/20/2020 at 1:42 AM

    @ Patti, It’s a beautiful country. You should definitely visit one day

  • Krystianna
    01/19/2020 at 9:02 PM

    Great post! This is super helpful.

  • Patti
    01/19/2020 at 6:51 PM

    Wow. I didn’t know Singapore was so strict!
    I would still love to visit it one day! Beautiful!

  • Maria Elsa Jose
    01/19/2020 at 12:23 PM

    Thanks for your clear information. Keep the inspiration going!

  • Jean-Marie
    01/19/2020 at 11:33 AM

    Extremely informative! It’s so important to be aware of such things prior to visiting the country.

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