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US raises COVID-19 travel alert for Singapore to highest risk level

US raises COVID-19 travel alert for Singapore to highest risk level

The Merlion statue is seen in front of office buildings in Singapore on Aug 11, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The United States on Monday (Oct 18) raised its COVID-19 travel advisory level for Singapore to the highest risk category, asking visitors to avoid travel to the country.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adjusted its advisory for Singapore by one rung to Level 4, which indicates a “very high level of COVID-19”.

"Because of the current situation in Singapore, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants," said CDC.

The US' health protection agency said those who must travel to Singapore should be fully vaccinated, and that they should follow the country's recommendations or requirements, including wearing a mask and observing safe distancing measures. 

The US Department of State issued a similar notice on Monday, urging people not to travel to Singapore due to COVID-19.

CDC uses travel health notices to alert travellers to health threats around the world, via a four-level advisory system.

The system categorises destinations by taking into account factors such as the number of recent COVID-19 cases and the trajectory of new cases.

Other destinations currently at Level 4 include Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

The CDC advisory comes as Singapore began welcoming more fully vaccinated travellers on Tuesday, after extending its vaccinated travel lane scheme to eight more countries.

Fully vaccinated travellers from Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States will be able to enter Singapore without having to serve quarantine.

More than 2,400 people from these countries have been issued travel passes to enter Singapore as of Oct 13, with about 40 per cent of the passes issued to travellers from the United Kingdom.

Singapore launched its first two vaccinated travel lanes with Brunei and Germany last month. Its travel lane with South Korea will open in Nov 15. 

OTHER DESTINATIONS

South Korea is among countries with a “high level of COVID-19” currently at Level 3. Others in the same category include Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam.

The travel advisory for India is at Level 2, indicating a “moderate level” of COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals at risk of severe illness are advised to avoid non-essential travel to these places. 

Among the Level 1 destinations identified by the CDC are China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and New Zealand. 

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Source: CNA/ng(zl)

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