Entry approvals for non-S'poreans, non-PRs travelling from India cut due to Covid-19

The entry approvals are being reduced in response to the worsening Covid-19 situation in India.
The entry approvals are being reduced in response to the worsening Covid-19 situation in India.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Entry approvals for non-Singapore citizens and non-permanent residents are being reduced with immediate effect, in response to the worsening Covid-19 situation in India and the emergence of new virus variants, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday (April 20).

From 11.59pm on Thursday, all travellers from India will also have to serve an additional seven-day stay-home notice (SHN) at their place of residence, following the usual 14-day SHN at a dedicated facility.

Those who have yet to complete their 14-day SHN by that time will also have to serve the extra seven days.

The travellers will be tested for Covid-19 at the end of the initial 14-day SHN and at the end of the additional seven-day SHN.

Migrant workers arriving from India who work in the construction, marine and process sectors will continue to be subjected to a 21-day SHN. These measures will minimise importation risks and protect public health, the MOH said.

Measures for travellers from Hong Kong, Britain and South Africa relaxed

Meanwhile, the SHN period for travellers from Hong Kong will be reduced from 14 days to seven days as the situation there has improved, and the SHN can be served at one’s place of residence if it is suitable.

This will apply to travellers who have remained in Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days and who enter Singapore from 11.59pm on Thursday.

They will be subjected to the Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival and another PCR test before the end of their seven-day SHN.

Singapore will also allow entry and transit for all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Britain and South Africa from 11.59pm on Thursday.

They will be able to enter Singapore after obtaining the relevant entry approvals or transit through the airport on airlines approved to operate such transfers.

This group had earlier been subject to restricted entry due to concerns of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus circulating in these places.

Arriving travellers who were in Britain or South Africa in the last 14 days before their entry will continue to be subjected to a seven-day SHN period at their place of residence, following their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities.

The MOH said Singapore’s existing border control and domestic measures have been able to contain the risks of community spread from imported cases with such variants, which is now present in many countries beyond Britain and South Africa.

It added that it will continue to evaluate the data on the various strains of the virus that cause Covid-19 as they emerge and review Singapore’s border measures accordingly.

Essential official travel overseas to be allowed

In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, essential business and official travels still need to continue, the MOH noted.

It said: “While many meetings have been conducted over digital media, certain critical discussions need to be done face to face. Official interactions are also crucial to safeguarding and advancing Singapore’s national interests.”

In order to facilitate such travel, the MOH said it will allow fully vaccinated individuals who need to travel to higher-risk countries or regions as part of an official delegation to be subjected to a stringent testing and self-isolation regime from 11.59pm on Thursday.

They must adhere to a strict event-by-event controlled itinerary while overseas, and undergo Covid-19 PCR tests upon arrival, and on the third, seventh and 14th days of their return.

As an added precaution, these travellers will also be required to undergo a seven-day self-isolation period at home or in a hotel upon return.

They may leave their place of accommodation only to commute to the PCR test site or to the workplace for essential work that cannot be done remotely.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be subjected to prevailing border measures upon their return.