S'pore residents returning from China have to stay home for 14 days

The fast lane agreement with China is part of Singapore's plans to gradually re-open its borders. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Singapore residents returning from China under the new "fast lane" agreement between the two countries will have to stay at home for 14 days.

If they keep to this and other terms of the agreement, they will not need to pay coronavirus-related medical bills at public hospitals. The bills are being borne by the Singapore Government for now.

The fast-lane agreement, which exempts visiting essential-business travellers from both sides from quarantine requirements of up to 14 days, started yesterday.

Quarantine orders isolate those suspected of carrying, or known to carry, an infectious disease either at home or at hospitals and dedicated facilities, and are legal orders with severe penalties if they are breached.

Those on a stay-home notice are not allowed to leave their homes.

The fast-lane agreement with China is part of Singapore's plans to gradually reopen its borders by slowly easing restrictions on flights and resuming trade.

The new scheme applies only to business and official travel, for flights between Singapore and six regions in China: Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

Among other requirements, travellers also have to seek approval from the authorities and adhere to a submitted itinerary.

Answers to frequently asked questions on the SafeTravel Pass website launched yesterday said the fast lane is not for long-term work or study.

Singapore residents - citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders - who wish to enter China for purposes other than essential business or official travel should contact the Chinese Embassy here for more details.

Fast-lane travellers departing for China must take a swab test within 48 hours of their departure, and get a health certificate that states they have tested negative for Covid-19.

For now, such tests can be conducted only at select clinics from Raffles Medical Group at Changi Airport Terminal 3, HarbourFront Centre, Holland Village, Raffles City and Shaw Centre.

The website added that travellers should expect to pay $180 to $200 for the pre-departure test, and the amount is not payable by Medisave, MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans.

Upon arrival in China, fast-lane travellers will have to go through a swab test and a serology test, and will then be quarantined in a designated area for one to two days until the test results are ready.

If found to be Covid-19 positive, the traveller will be given medical treatment. The costs of the tests, stay at the designated location and medical treatment will all be borne by the traveller.

Both tests have to be negative before the traveller can proceed with travel plans in China.

Travellers do not need to take another swab test in China before they return to Singapore.

• Those who need more information can visit safetravel.ica.gov.sg or e-mail covid_safetravelpass@mti.gov.sg

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2020, with the headline S'pore residents returning from China have to stay home for 14 days. Subscribe