Fully vaccinated travellers from 8 more countries can serve SHN at home from Aug 20: MOH

A photo taken in September last year shows a traveller receiving a stay-home notice smartwatch issued by Ministry of Manpower at Changi Airport. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Fully vaccinated travellers from Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland will be allowed to serve their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) at their own places of residence instead of a dedicated facility from 11.59pm on Aug 20.

This list will be updated from time to time depending on the public health risk assessment, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (Aug 6).

The differentiated measures for vaccinated travellers are part of a review of Singapore's border restrictions in the light of a high local vaccination rate.

MOH said a traveller will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the full dosage of any Covid-19 vaccine under the World Health Organisation's Emergency Use Listing.

These include the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna mRNA vaccines used in Singapore's national vaccination scheme as well as the vaccines made by Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Serum Institute of India's Covishield vaccine.

To be eligible, travellers must have remained in the respective countries for the last 21 consecutive days before leaving for Singapore and must either be staying alone or with other fully vaccinated household members who are under SHN for the same duration and with the same travel history.

Singaporeans and permanent residents can apply to opt out of staying at a dedicated facility on the SafeTravel website three days before their scheduled arrival in Singapore.

Other travellers can apply as part of their entry application process from 11.59pm on Aug 20.

All travellers must show proof of approval to serve SHN at their place of residence when they arrive in Singapore.

They must remain in their place of residence at all times during the SHN period and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure compliance.

"Action will be taken against those who breach the requirements of the SHN or make false declarations," said the MOH.

"Travellers will also be required to utilise specially designated transport services to and from their place of residence and bear the costs for these transport arrangements."

Currently, travellers from New Zealand, Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are already allowed to apply to serve SHN at their place of residence.

Those arriving from other countries or regions must serve SHN at a dedicated facility. This includes Israel, which was previously on the list but has seen an increase in cases recently.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, one of three ministers chairing the task force on Covid-19, said during a virtual press conference on Friday that Singapore is planning to open up travel lanes with selected countries so vaccinated individuals can enter Singapore without having to serve SHN at all.

Instead, they may be asked to undergo frequent testing, he said, adding that the Ministry of Transport (MOT) will announce more details later.

He also said Singapore travellers can already travel to various places without having to serve quarantine on arrival, including the United States and parts of Europe, and it is up to Singapore to decide if it is comfortable about reciprocating the arrangement.

"The onus is on us, and so we have to assess the risk level of some of these potential partner countries," Mr Ong said.

"MOT, of course, will have to discuss operational details such as recognition of vaccination certs, which they have been doing for many months now."

Read next - Dine in to resume, more can work from office: All about Singapore's 2-step easing of Covid-19 rules

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