SINGAPORE - Anyone entering Singapore with fever or other respiratory symptoms will be issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday (March 13).
They will have to have to remain at home for two weeks even if the result of a swab test is negative.
The latest measure follows the growing number of Covid-19 cases globally, with the number of imported cases in Singapore increasing in recent days.
Since March 4, travellers showing signs of infection have been required to undergo a Covid-19 swab test at the checkpoints, regardless of travel history.
As of Friday, they will have to comply with a two-week Stay-Home Notice, meaning they will have to stay home at all times.
Foreign visitors such as tourists can serve out the period in hotels if necessary.
Those who meet the clinical definition of a suspect case will be taken to a hospital for follow-up checks.
The reason for the new measure is that "a swab test that is negative at the point of the test may not be sufficient assurance", said Mr Wong, who co-chairs a multi-ministry taskforce tackling the coronavirus.
The person who is already exhibiting some symptoms may be going through the incubation stage of the virus, so the swab test will turn up negative, but the viral load may later go up, meaning he could test positive later, Mr Wong told a press conference.
He added that in carrying out the new measure, the authorities will would pay particular attention to some of the countries where Singapore has been receiving imported cases. He added that officials will be "quite stringent" about it.
Mr Wong said that all border measures put in place are temporary and dynamic, and are constantly adjusted and updated depending on the global situation.
The authorities are looking at how Singapore can minimise the number of imported cases, and if there are better ways to do so, he added.