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US raises COVID-19 travel alert level for Singapore, Hong Kong

US raises COVID-19 travel alert level for Singapore, Hong Kong

Visitors wear protective face masks at the Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore on Jan 26, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The United States on Monday (Sep 27) raised its COVID-19 travel advisory levels for Singapore and Hong Kong, urging those who are unvaccinated to avoid non-essential travel. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adjusted its advisory for Singapore by one rung to Level 3, which indicates a “high level of COVID-19”.

"Because of the current situation in Singapore, all travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants," said the US' health protection agency. 

The CDC also recommended that individuals be fully vaccinated before travelling to Singapore, 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 to “reconsider travel” to Singapore due to COVID-19.

The four-level advisory system by the CDC 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 3 include Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. 

This is just below the CDC's highest categorisation of Level 4, which advises individuals to avoid travel due to "very high" levels of COVID-19.

Destinations currently identified as Level 4 include Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Myanmar, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom. 

"MODERATE LEVEL" OF COVID-19 IN HONG KONG

The travel advisory for Hong Kong was raised to Level 2, indicating a “moderate level” of COVID-19.

The CDC advised unvaccinated travellers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to avoid non-essential travel to the city.

“If you must travel and have concerns, talk to your doctor,” it said.

According to Reuters data, Hong Kong is currently reporting an average of four new COVID-19 infections each day. The city's record for the number of new daily infections was on Jul 30 last year with 149 cases.

In comparison, Singapore is currently seeing an outbreak of COVID-19 infections, with more than 1,000 new cases a day over the past week. 

A record 1,938 new cases was reported on Sunday. There have also been 25 deaths in September so far, a new monthly record. 

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Source: CNA/ga(zl)

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