We thank Dr Alan K. Koh and Ms Irene Low for their feedback (Staff handling passports at risk, Feb 4; and Fingerprint scanners pose health risk during current crisis, Feb 5).
To reduce the risk of virus transmission for travellers and staff at the checkpoints, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has stepped up the frequency of cleaning the checkpoint premises, in particular the immigration clearance counters, and sanitising the fingerprint scanners.
Hand sanitisers are also available at the arrival and departure halls for members of the public and staff to use.
ICA officers at the manual counters need to physically examine passports to ensure that they have not been altered or tampered with.
Our officers are regularly reminded to observe good personal hygiene, such as to frequently wash their hands with soap, not to touch their face unnecessarily, and to seek medical treatment immediately if they feel unwell.
Every officer at the counter has been provided an individual bottle of hand sanitiser to use, and is encouraged to use it frequently in the course of their duty.
They have been told that if a traveller to whom they are attending appears unwell, they should stop attending to the traveller, take precautions, and refer the traveller to the health screening area for further assessment.
ICA will progressively implement iris and facial biometric technology at the automated and manned counters at our checkpoints from April.
Travellers who have already enrolled their iris and facial biometrics with ICA will be able to enjoy contactless immigration clearance.
ICA is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our officers and travellers at the checkpoints.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our measures in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines.
Public and Internal Communications
Corporate Communications Division
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority