SINGAPORE: "Fast lane" travellers returning to Singapore may appeal for swab tests in place of the mandated 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) they would have to serve when they are back in the country, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Jun 15).
A "fast lane" arrangement was set up by Singapore and China to facilitate essential travel between the two countries for business and official purposes.
"While many have welcomed the establishment of the Singapore-China fast lane arrangements, some have asked if it is possible to have alternate arrangements to the 14-day SHN," said Mr Chan in a Facebook post.
"On a case-by-case basis, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is prepared to consider appeals for swab test arrangements in place of the 14-day SHN for returning fast lane users."
Appeals can be made via email to MTI, he added.
In response to CNA's queries, MTI said on Wednesday that appeals should be submitted at least five working days before the traveller's intended date of return to Singapore.
"Factors taken into consideration will include the itinerary while in China, the length of the traveller’s stay in China and ability to commit to a pre-departure test 48 hours prior to departure for Singapore," said the ministry.
The "fast lane" arrangement was launched on Jun 8, and involves Singapore and six Chinese provinces or municipalities: Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Approved travellers must take a COVID-19 swab test within 48 hours before departure as well as upon arrival, after which they need not be quarantined, but must remain isolated for one to two days while waiting for COVID-19 test results.
Travellers must also stick to a controlled itinerary that is supervised by the host company or government agency for the first 14 days.
Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore from China will be issued with a 14-day stay-home notice.
READ: Business and official travellers on Singapore-China 'fast lane' arrangement must get COVID-19 swab tests
On Monday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that all travellers entering Singapore from Thursday will be tested for COVID-19 before the end of their stay-home notice.
The ministry also said that travellers from 10 countries or territories, who stayed in the said place for the 14 days prior to their entry, will be allowed to serve their stay-home notice at home instead of a designated facility.
"In line with the progressive re-opening of our economy and society, the MTF (COVID-19 multi-ministry task force) has also reviewed the border measures we had put in place earlier to manage the risks of importation and will progressively implement changes as part of our resumption of international travel," said Mr Chan.
Earlier this month, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said in Parliament that travel will be restarted on a limited scale, focusing first on “essential travel for businesses to function and for purposes such as maintaining critical infrastructure and providing needed services”.