Singapore to bar visitors from SL, B’desh, Nepal and Pakistan

Saturday, 1 May 2021 01:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Singapore will stop entry or transit for visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force said yesterday.

The ban starts on 2 May and covers all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been in the four countries in the last 14 days, including transit.

It will also apply to those who have obtained prior entry approval from Singapore authorities, said Co-Chair of the task force Lawrence Wong.

Those with recent travel history to the four countries, who are serving a 14-day stay-home notice in Singapore as of 3 May, will have this extended by another seven days at dedicated stay-home facilities.

They will also have to take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test on their arrival, on the 14th day of their stay-home notice, and before the end of their 21-day notice.

These measures come after a “deterioration” in the COVID-19 situation in India, with the infection spreading beyond India to the surrounding countries, said Wong. India is registering more than 300,000 new cases daily.

In addition, all travellers entering Singapore from 3 May with travel history to Thailand in the past 14 days will have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. Currently, they are allowed to serve the notice at their place of residence.

They may not opt out of the dedicated facilities, even if they have obtained prior approval.

Thailand is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 cases, reporting about 2,000 new daily cases. The spike has prompted shutdowns in Bangkok and other areas.

Travellers from Fiji and Vietnam can still opt to serve their 14-day stay-home notice at their place of residence if they fulfil two conditions: Travelled to no other country or region in the 14 days prior to entry, and occupy their place of residence alone, or with household members also serving a stay-home notice with the same travel history and duration.

Singapore will maintain its current conditions for suspension of the travel bubble with Hong Kong, said Wong.

He was responding to a question on whether the discovery of a cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and heightened community measures would affect the relaunch of the travel bubble, slated for 26 May.

Singapore and Hong Kong said earlier that the bubble would be suspended if the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in either city increases to above five. It can only resume when the COVID-19 situation has stabilised.

This is the second time both cities are attempting to launch a travel bubble. The launch was originally scheduled for November last year but was deferred after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. 

"We just have to be mentally prepared that this is not a situation where new initiatives are rolled out and then they will continue permanently without any potential for disruption, because the situation is so fluid," Wong said.