Managed and calm response to Omicron

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Singapore has been quick to take steps to protect itself from the increasing spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus that was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by South Africa on Nov 24.

Thus, all travellers entering this country on vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) from 11.59pm today will be put on a daily testing regime over seven days using antigen rapid tests. Simultaneously, seven more countries - Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and Poland - are being placed in a higher-risk category for travel. Indeed, some other tighter restrictions have already taken effect. It was announced that, from 11.59pm last Saturday, employers of all S Pass and work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors would not be allowed to make new applications for workers to enter Singapore via VTLs. That would also apply to employers of other dormitory-bound work pass holders. Those workers should enter Singapore through ongoing industry initiatives, such as programmes with upstream testing and isolation in the source country, or the Work Pass Holder General Lane.

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