SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has encouraged Singaporean students studying overseas to consider returning home soon amid COVID-19 concerns.
In a statement on Tuesday (Mar 17), MFA said that Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore have begun recalling their students who are currently on overseas internships or exchange programmes.
"Many countries are imposing travel restrictions or closing their borders, transport operators and airlines are cutting services, and many services and facilities, including educational institutions, have also been closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," said MFA.
MFA also said that the government will liaise with airlines to facilitate flights to key cities when necessary, so as to cater to the demand for return flights.
MFA reminded overseas Singaporeans students who have yet to return home to observe the following:
- Take all necessary precautions, practice good personal hygiene, monitor local developments and to heed the advice of local authorities
- Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ as soon as possible should the need for contact purposes arise
- Check the Ministry of Health (MOH) website (https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19) and the MFA website for the latest measures implemented by Singapore
- Ensure they have continued access to medical facilities nearby and have appropriate health insurance coverage
- Be prepared that these medical facilities may become overwhelmed, and may not be able to provide the same level of care and support as in Singapore
- Be prepared to source for alternative accommodation in the event of hostel closures
- Consider the risks of severe disruption to travel routes and further travel advisories or restrictions at short notice, which may affect your travel plans to return home
- Discuss alternative arrangements with their educational institution to continue their learning in Singapore
Students who may require assistance overseas are advised to contact their educational institutions, student associations, the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or the Singapore Global Network (email@example.com) for guidance. The Ministry of Education may also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should a student require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the MFA Duty Office at +65 6379 8800 / +65 6379 8855.