Singapore tightens border measures for Australia's New South Wales as Covid-19 cases rise there

The changes to the border measures are in light of the changing Covid-19 situation in Australia.
The changes to the border measures are in light of the changing Covid-19 situation in Australia.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Border measures will be tightened for travellers entering Singapore from the Australian state of New South Wales and loosened for those from the state of Victoria.

This is in light of the changing Covid-19 situation in the country, said the Ministry of Health on Thursday night (June 24).

From 11.59pm on Saturday, Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to New South Wales in the last 21 days before departure, will be subject to an on-arrival Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a seven-day stay-home notice (SHN) at their place of residence, and a PCR test before the end of the SHN period.

From 11.59pm on the same day, short-term travellers holding an air travel pass (ATP) with travel history to New South Wales within the last 21 days before departure for Singapore, will be barred from entering the country.

Meanwhile, those entering Singapore with a travel history to Victoria in the last 21 days from 11.59pm on Saturday will be allowed to go about their activities in the country if their on-arrival PCR test is negative for the virus.

Like travellers from other states of Australia, excluding New South Wales, they will not need to serve a 7-day SHN period, said MOH.

Short-term visitors with travel history to Victoria within the last 21 days before departure for Singapore can also apply for an ATP with immediate effect, for entry into Singapore on or after July 1.

Those who are already serving their seven-day SHN at their place of residence as at 11.59pm on Saturday will still be required to complete the SHN and exit swab.

All other travellers with travel history to Australia, excluding New South Wales, in the last 21 days prior to travel will continue to be subject to a Covid-19 test upon arrival at the airport, in lieu of the SHN, said MOH.

On Thursday, Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales reported a double-digit rise in new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 for the third straight day as officials fought to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Eleven new local cases were reported on Thursday, taking the total infections in the latest outbreak to more than 40. 

The authorities have imposed tough restrictions in Sydney, Australia’s largest city and home to a fifth of the country’s population of 25 million, with health officials saying transmission could be happening even through minimal contact with infected individuals.

New South Wales has been effectively isolated from the rest of Australia after some states, like Western Australia, slammed their borders shut and others introduced tough border rules.