Singapore will ban short-term visitors from entering or transiting through the city state starting from March 24.
Singapore’s health ministry said only work-pass holders, including their dependents, who are providing essential services such as healthcare and transport will be allowed to enter Singapore. The ministry added that they are required to obtain approval from Singapore’s ministry of manpower before starting their journey.
Previously, the city-state said short-term visitors from other parts of the world except “a handful of countries” were allowed to enter Singapore. They were issued a 14-day “stay-home notice” upon arrival.
Singapore said “resources were being expended” to enforce the stay-home notices and also to provide medical treatment to those who fell ill.
The ministry said on March 22 that almost 80 per cent of the new confirmed cases over the past three days were imported.
As of 12pm March 22, there were 455 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Singapore, 246 of which were imported cases, including 207 Singapore residents and long term pass holders as well as 39 visitors, according to Singapore’s health ministry.
Singapore’s Changi Airport said passengers on all arrival flights headed to the airport are subject to temperature screening, and there will also be healthcare teams at the aerobridges for select flights to identify passengers “who look unwell because fever may not be present for all cases”.
The airport said travellers entering Singapore who show fever and/or other symptoms related to respiratory illnesses are required to undergo a Covid-19 swab test, regardless of their travel history.
These travellers will also be issued a 14-day stay-home notice, which they will have to serve in full even if the results of the swab tests are negative, while those “who meet the clinical suspect case definition” will be sent to a hospital for follow-up, according to the airport.
The ministry announced earlier that all Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long term pass holders entering Singapore will be issued a 14-day stay-home notice, and they must remain in their place of residence at all times. Those coming from Hubei province in mainland China will need to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Singapore Airlines, the flag carrier of Singapore, announced earlier today that it will cut 96 per cent of its scheduled capacity until the end of April.
The airline said it is now offering travel waivers for affected passengers. Details can be found here.
In other news, Taiwan will also ban airline passenger transit for two weeks from March 24 to April 7.
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific is updating a list of countries and regions that have imposed temporary travel bans to curb the spread of Covid-19: