Tips for Singaporeans to stay safe during travels

Travellers at Changi Airport Terminal 3 departure hall.
Travellers at Changi Airport Terminal 3 departure hall. PHOTO: ST FILE

As the holiday season approaches, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has issued an advisory reminding Singaporeans to keep themselves informed and stay safe on their travels.

In its advisory yesterday, MFA said there were various attacks on civilian targets in areas popular with tourists and locals.

Last month, a truck attack in Lower Manhattan in New York killed eight people.

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was charged in federal court with acting in support of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by ploughing the truck down a riverside bike trail, killing eight and injuring a dozen others.

Also last month, gunman Stephen Paddock fired into a concert crowd on the famous Las Vegas Strip, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more before killing himself.

In August, a van ploughed down a busy pedestrian street in Las Ramblas, a popular area in the city centre of Barcelona, Spain, killing 16 people and injuring more than a hundred others.

MFA provided the following list of recommendations for Singaporean travellers:

•Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

•Take a few minutes to eRegister with MFA (online or via the MFA@SG mobile app).

•Always take care of your personal safety, and remain vigilant and alert to local security developments.

•Obey the laws and respect the local customs of the countries you are visiting.

•Keep your passport and identity card separate to minimise the risk of your losing both your ID documents.

•Never carry too much cash and valuables. Never leave your valuables unattended.

•Make sure you know the local rules of the road. Ensure that you, your passengers and the vehicle are covered by insurance.

•Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

•Monitor the local news and heed the instructions of the local authorities in an emergency.

•Stay in touch with your family and friends in Singapore so they know you are safe. Inform them of your whereabouts and activities.

Those who are overseas and need consular assistance may call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24 hours) on +65-6379-8800/8855, or get in touch with the nearest Singapore overseas mission.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 19, 2017, with the headline 'Tips for Singaporeans to stay safe during travels'. Print Edition | Subscribe