Parliament: Covid-19

Stay-home measures to remain for now for vaccinated travellers

Singapore will consider relaxing stay-home measures for vaccinated travellers if the vaccines prove to significantly curb the spread of the virus.
Singapore will consider relaxing stay-home measures for vaccinated travellers if the vaccines prove to significantly curb the spread of the virus.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Singapore is monitoring studies on the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines, and will consider relaxing stay-home measures for vaccinated travellers if the shots significantly curb the spread of the disease, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong.

But for now, the Government will continue to take a cautious approach, and vaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to the same border measures and stay-home requirements as non-vaccinated travellers, added Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19.

His remarks came amid the roll-out of vaccinations in some countries, including Singapore, after governments around the world approved the emergency use of several newly developed vaccines.

But it is unclear how this might impact travel, since much is still not known about how much the vaccines can reduce transmission and infection, and how long their effects will last.

Yesterday, Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) asked if vaccination may become a key requirement for travel to Singapore in future and how it might feature at the upcoming World Economic Forum slated to be held here in May.

Giving updates on Covid-19 in a ministerial statement, Mr Wong said that while vaccines benefit those who have been immunised, there is still not enough clarity on how they protect others from the Sars-CoV-2 virus.

The Government is closely monitoring several ongoing studies on how effective the vaccines are in this respect.

When there is clear evidence that the risks of transmission can be lowered significantly by the use of vaccines, Singapore will be open to adjusting measures imposed on travellers, said Mr Wong.

He added that while the Government may not require travellers to be vaccinated, those who are may be subject to relaxed stay-home conditions when they return from overseas, for instance.

As for the World Economic Forum, those travelling here to attend the meeting will be subject to prevailing measures, unless new data on vaccines has emerged by then, he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2021, with the headline 'Stay-home measures to remain for now for vaccinated travellers'. Subscribe