Special arrangements in place for China-bound travellers required to take Covid-19 test, say Singapore authorities

Passengers walk into the departure hall of Changi International Airport in June 2020.
Passengers walk into the departure hall of Changi International Airport in June 2020.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Special Covid-19 testing arrangements have been made for those who are travelling to China from Aug 28 to 31, the authorities said on Wednesday (Aug 26).

These passengers can take the test at a regional screening centre at 450, Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609604.

The centre will be open daily from 9am to 12pm, and 1pm to 4pm until Aug 30.

In a joint statement late on Wednesday in response to media queries, the ministries of health, manpower, trade and industry and transport, as well as the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, said passengers who take the test will be informed of the results within 48 hours.

The test will cost $186, and airlines have been told to make these arrangements known to their passengers, the statement said.

Since Tuesday (Aug 25), more than 700 passengers have taken the test at the centre, which is the located on the site of the former Shuqun Secondary School.

The special arrangements have been made to help passengers meet the requirements of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore, which last week stipulated that from Aug 28, all passengers departing Singapore for China must take a nucleic acid test for Covid-19, within five days before the flight.

For flights to China departing from Sept 1, travellers who require pre-departure tests can approach the following government agencies for assistance:

*For travel related to essential business and employment, they can send an e-mail to the Ministry of Trade and Industry at COVID_SafeTravelEnquiries@mti.gov.sg

*For Chinese nationals with "live" or cancelled work permits and S-Passes returning to China, their employers should either schedule tests via the existing Rostered Regular Tests Swab Registration System if they are eligible, or request for swabs at the Ministry of Manpower's regional medical centres. More information on this will be published on https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/sending-workers-home

*For travel related to education, compassionate reasons, or other matters, travellers can send an e-mail to the Ministry of Health at MOH_QSM@moh.gov.sg

Last Friday (Aug 21), the Chinese Embassy in Singapore announced on its website that all foreign travellers flying to China must have tested negative for Covid-19.

 

Those going to China from Singapore must e-mail their test result, a scanned copy of a signed health declaration form, and a photocopy of the biodata page of their passports to the embassy.

In the form, passengers must declare that in the last 14 days, they have not had a fever at or above 37.3 deg C, or respiratory symptoms, and that they have not been in contact with patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms, among other things.

Once passengers have obtained the documentation needed, they must bring a print-out of the certified health declaration form with them to the airport for airline staff to inspect.

The forms are valid for only five days from the time the Covid-19 test results are issued.

Passengers with expired health declaration forms will not be allowed to board the flight and must undergo a Covid-19 test and apply for a new form again, the embassy said.

The embassy added that passengers are advised to bring their Covid-19 test results to the airport in case further verification is required.

The embassy also said it will take at least one working day to verify the documents. More details can be found on the embassy's website at www.chinaembassy.org.sg/eng/

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry on its website said Singapore's national testing strategy is focused on diagnostic testing and active case-finding in the community, as well as active surveillance-testing on targeted groups deemed vulnerable or who have a higher risk of exposure to Covid-19.

MOH said: "For now, pre-departure Covid-19 testing only applies to travellers under the green lane arrangements for essential business and official travels."