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Source: Asia Pacific Region 2 – Singapore

       The Multi-Ministry Taskforce regularly reviews our border measures to manage the risk of importation and onward local transmission from travellers, taking into account the current situation in their source countries/regions. 

2.     Given the recent increase in cases, travellers with recent travel history to Sabah, Malaysia will now be required to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities. We will also require travellers who have recent travel history to Indonesia or the Philippines, and who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result to enter or transfer through Singapore. As the situation in Hong Kong has improved, we will reduce the SHN period from 14 days at dedicated SHN facilities, to 7 days at their place of residence, for travellers from Hong Kong. 

3.     COVID-19 testing is an integral part of the safe re-opening of our borders. We will make COVID-19 tests more accessible to travellers. Laboratories, clinics and swab service providers who are interested can apply to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for approval to provide such COVID-19 testing services. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will resume the issuance of new visas.  However, the possession of a visa alone does not guarantee entry into Singapore; travellers must still seek prior approval via the appropriate COVID-19 travel schemes.  

Update of Border Measures 

4.     The risk of importation from travellers varies across countries/regions. Hence, the Taskforce continues to calibrate our border measures based on the latest developments in countries/regions as well as our assessed risk of importation and onward transmission in the community. 

14-day SHN in dedicated SHN facility for Travellers from Sabah (Malaysia)

5.     We had earlier announced that travellers from Malaysia are allowed to serve a 7-day SHN at their place of residence. As there has been an increase in cases in Sabah recently, all travellers entering Singapore from 14 October 2020, 2359 hours, who have a travel history in the past 14 days to Sabah will be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities [1]. This also applies to returning Singapore-based travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), as well as Malaysian Citizens and PRs entering Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement. We are monitoring the situation across other states and federal territories closely, including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya. For now, travellers from all other parts of Malaysia (except Sabah), will continue to serve a 7-day SHN at their place of residence. 

6.     All travellers are reminded to accurately declare their travel history. Strict enforcement action will be taken against false declarations. The COVID-19 test will continue to be administered before the end of the SHN period. 

Requiring Pre-Departure Tests (PDT) for Travellers from Indonesia and the Philippines

7.     To reduce the importation of cases from Indonesia and the Philippines, travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents and who have recent travel history to Indonesia or the Philippines within the last 14 days prior to entry will be required to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure. Travellers will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter or transfer through Singapore. This requirement will take effect for those arriving in or transferring through Singapore from 19 October 2020, 2359 hours. Travellers from Indonesia and the Philippines entering Singapore will still be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities and to take a negative COVID-19 test before the end of their SHN.

8.     We had earlier announced that travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents and who have recent travel history to India within the last 14 days prior to entry will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter Singapore. We will now also require travellers from India transferring through Singapore to present a valid negative COVID-19 rest result.

Reduced SHN of 7 Days for Travellers from Hong Kong

9.      There are countries/regions where the virus is well under control and the risk of importation is low. We have thus lifted our border restrictions and updated our travel advisory to allow general travel between Singapore and such low risk countries – Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand, Australia (excluding Victoria State) and Vietnam [2]. Travellers who have remained in these countries/regions in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry and travel directly to Singapore will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival in lieu of serving SHN. 

10.     Travellers from other low risk countries/regions undergo a reduced 7-day SHN, and are allowed to serve the SHN at their place of residence [3] instead of a designated SHN facility. These low risk countries/regions are Macao, Mainland China, Malaysia (excluding Sabah) and Taiwan. Hong Kong will now be added to this list, for travellers entering Singapore from 14 October 2020, 2359 hours. 

Resuming Visa Regime

11.      In line with the calibrated reopening of Singapore’s borders, ICA will lift visa suspension and resume the issuance of new visas. Short-term visitors who require a visa to enter Singapore can apply for visas though a local contact, Singapore overseas mission, or authorised visa agent from 18 October 2020, 2359 hours. Visitors who had already been issued with visas which are still valid, as well as those who are eligible for the visa-free transit facility, do not need to re-apply/ apply.

12.     Possession of a valid visa alone does not guarantee entry into Singapore. All short-term visitors must still seek prior approval via appropriate COVID-19 travel channels (e.g. obtain a Safe Travel Pass under Green/Fast Lane arrangements, or Air Travel Pass) before they can enter Singapore. More information will be available at ICA’s website (https://www.ica.gov.sg/covid-19).

Facilitating COVID-19 Testing for Travellers

13.      COVID-19 testing is an integral element to the safe resumption of travel. We will make COVID-19 testing more accessible for travellers. There are currently over 150 clinics that provide pre-departure testing to eligible travellers. We will increase the number of clinics and providers who can administer the COVID-19 PCR tests for pre-departure testing. 

14.      Individuals who have been approved for such tests via the Safe Travel website (https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/pre-departure-test) will be able to make a test appointment with an expanded list of approved clinics and providers. Laboratories, clinics and swab service providers who are interested to provide such COVID-19 testing services can apply to MOH for approval. 

15.     We will also gradually liberalise COVID-19 testing to allow those who require a test more options to procure such services from approved providers.

Regular Review of Border Measures

16.     Singapore’s border measures will evolve as the global situation changes. We will continue to monitor the global health situation closely and update our border measures in accordance with the public health risk assessment. If the situation in a country/region deteriorates, more stringent measures will be put in place to limit the risk of importation and prevent community transmission from imported cases. 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
12 OCTOBER 2020

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[1] Except for Malaysia-based travellers under the RGL, who will continue to be subject to existing RGL health measures (i.e. pre-departure test, on-arrival test, pre-declared controlled itinerary). 
[2] https://www.caas.gov.sg/who-we-are/newsroom/Detail/singapore-welcomes-visitors-from-australia-and-vietnam-from-8-october-2020/
[3] Singapore Citizens and Permanent Resident may serve their 7-day SHN at their place of residence. Long-Term Pass holders may serve their 7-day SHN at a place of residence that they or their family members own or are sole tenants of, or in suitable accommodations such as a hotel.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News