All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last two weeks will no longer be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore, Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced yesterday.
This move, which kicks in from 11.59pm today, also applies to those who had transited through these countries, as well as to those who had obtained prior approval for entry to Singapore.
But returning Singaporeans and permanent residents who have been to these countries will still be able to enter Singapore, Mr Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, said at a virtual press conference.
The change was made in view of the recent sharp increases in cases reported by Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press statement.
"Since we last announced some border measures, the situation unfortunately has continued to deteriorate, and we know that the infection is spreading beyond India to the surrounding countries," said Mr Wong, explaining the move to tighten measures.
This follows a move to bar long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have travelled to India in the past 14 days from entering or transiting through Singapore following a second wave of infections in India.
India reported more than 300,000 new Covid-19 cases for the ninth straight day yesterday, while deaths from Covid-19 jumped by 3,498 since Thursday morning, according to data from India's Health Ministry. This takes the death toll in the country to 208,330.
Additionally, all travellers with recent travel history to these four countries who have not finished their 14-day stay-home notice period by 11.59pm tomorrow will need to complete an additional seven-day SHN at dedicated facilities.
They will also need to have a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test when they arrive, on the 14th day of their SHN, and before the end of their 21-day SHN period.
Measures for travellers from Thailand will also be tightened, given the deteriorating Covid-19 situation and rising infection rates in the country, said Mr Wong.
From 11.59pm tomorrow, all travellers entering Singapore who have been in Thailand in the past 14 days will have to serve the 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities.
They will no longer be allowed to opt out of serving it at dedicated SHN facilities, even if they had obtained approval to opt out earlier - a move that had been relaxed when infection rates were not as high, said Mr Wong.
But travellers from Fiji and Vietnam are still allowed to apply to opt out of dedicated SHN facilities and serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence if they fulfil certain criteria, said MOH.