All travellers, including Singaporeans, to take COVID-19 test upon arrival in Singapore

All travellers, including Singaporeans, to take COVID-19 test upon arrival in Singapore

People in masks at Changi Airport 22
People wearing protective face masks at Changi Airport Terminal 1. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: All travellers, including Singaporeans and permanent residents, will need to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, announced the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Jan 16).

This will take effect from 11.59pm on Jan 24, as part of tighter border measures to manage the risk of imported COVID-19 cases.

Existing stay-home notice requirements, including a PCR test at the end of the notice period, will continue to be in place, said the ministry.

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To facilitate the testing process, travellers are "strongly encouraged" to register and pre-pay for their on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test before departing for Singapore, said MOH.

Currently, travellers who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents and who have a recent travel history to high-risk countries or regions are required to take a PCR test within 72 hours before departure. They are then tested again at the end of their stay-home notice period. 

In a media release, MOH noted the emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the worsening coronavirus situation around the world.

"The multi-ministry task force regularly reviews Singapore’s border measures to manage the risk of importation and onward local transmission from travellers," said MOH.

"Given the resurgence of COVID-19 cases around the world, we will be putting in place more stringent measures for travellers to manage the risk of importation."

FURTHER MEASURES FOR TRAVELLERS FROM UK AND SOUTH AFRICA

The ministry also announced that all Singaporeans and permanent residents returning from the United Kingdom and South Africa will be subject to an additional seven days of self-isolation at their place of residence, following their 14-day stay-home notice period at dedicated facilities. 

This takes effect from 11.59pm on Jan 18.

They will be tested at the end of their stay-home notice, as with the current requirement, and again after they have completed their seven-day self-isolation period, said MOH.

These further precautions will apply to travellers who are currently serving their stay-home notice, and they will be in place until further notice.

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Singapore authorities had earlier restricted entry and transit for all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with a recent travel history to the UK and South Africa, due to concerns of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus circulating in those countries.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

With effect from 11.59pm on Jan 31, visitors applying to enter Singapore under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) and Reciprocal Green Lanes (RGLs) will need to have travel insurance for their COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000.

"The travel insurance will help them pay for the costs of their medical treatment in Singapore. The visitors can purchase the travel insurance from Singapore-based or overseas insurers," said MOH.

READ: No local COVID-19 cases from people who entered Singapore without pre-departure tests from Nov 18 to Dec 27

READ: Travellers entering Singapore from South Korea to serve stay-home notice at dedicated facilities

Currently, short-term visitors entering Singapore under the ATP and RGLs are required to bear the full costs of medical treatment, should they be suspected of being infected with the coronavirus or require treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore.

"As the global situation evolves, we will continue to adjust our border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community," said MOH. 

"The Ministry of Health will also continue to review the data and evidence on any new viral strains and update the measures accordingly."

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Any changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website

Travellers are advised to visit the website to check for the most updated border measures before entering Singapore and be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including payment for their stay at dedicated stay-home notice facilities, tests and treatment.

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Source: CNA/ic(gs)

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