SINGAPORE – Travellers who have visited six countries that Singapore was previously closed off to will be allowed to enter here from Wednesday, as the nation continues to adjust border measures in response to the global Covid-19 situation.
All travellers with a 14-day travel history to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore, said the Ministry of Health on Saturday (Oct 23).
MOH said in a release that it has reviewed the Covid-19 situation in these countries.
It added that travellers from these countries will be subject to the tightest of border measures, which involve a 10-day, stay-home notice (SHN) period at a dedicated facility.
During a virtual press conference on Saturday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the situation in these countries has stabilised for some time.
“There is no longer a need for strict rules that prevent travellers from these countries from landing here,” he said.
MOH said changes that come into effect on Wednesday include the loosening of measures for travellers from Singapore’s closest neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia.
All travellers from Category II, III and IV nations will also no longer need to undergo an on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and will undergo only an end-of-SHN exit PCR test.
MOH said travellers from Malaysia and Indonesia, along with those from Cambodia, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Malaysia, Qatar, Seychelles, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam, will be placed under Category III measures.
Travellers from Category III regions will from Wednesday serve their 10-day SHN at their declared place of residence or accommodation, regardless of the travellers’ and their household members’ vaccination status and travel history.
They currently have to apply to do so.
MOH will also be facilitating the entry of more fully vaccinated domestic workers to meet the urgent domestic and caregiving needs of local households. It will do so while regulating the numbers carefully as the global situation evolves.
Mr Ong explained why Singapore has been relaxing its border control measures even as some point out that safe management measures here remain tight.
He said the country needed tight border controls when the country had very few cases because it needed to prevent infections from “gushing in” through its borders.
The situation has now changed. Mr Ong said after going through big transmission waves for many months, the pandemic situation in many countries has stabilised.
“So we can open up travel lanes with these countries, safely,” said Mr Ong.
He also noted that to make things safe for Singapore, the Government allows only travellers who are fully vaccinated to come here, and it requires testing for these travellers.
This is why Singapore’s imported infection numbers have remained low, he added.