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COVID-19: Travellers entering Singapore from Victoria in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong to serve stay-home notice at dedicated facilities

COVID-19: Travellers entering Singapore from Victoria in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong to serve stay-home notice at dedicated facilities

National Development Minister and co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce Lawrence Wong speaking at a press conference on Mar 24, 2020. (Photo: MCI)

SINGAPORE: Travellers entering Singapore after 11.59pm on Sunday (Jul 19) with travel history to Victoria in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong within the last 14 days, including transit passengers, will have to serve their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities rather than their own home, announced National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday.

They will also need to take a COVID-19 test before ending their stay-home notice, in line with current requirements.

READ: All foreign workers to be tested by mid-August, says COVID-19 task force 

Speaking at a multi-ministry taskforce press conference on Friday, Mr Wong noted a global resurgence of COVID-19 cases, even in countries which have successfully controlled the virus before.

“The cases from overseas coming in through our borders represent another risk for us, even as we clear the dormitory cases and therefore we are monitoring the situation very carefully,” said Mr Wong.

“Our overall advisory remains for everyone in Singapore not to travel or to avoid all travel - that remains the overall posture for now.”

Previously, travellers entering Singapore from countries with a controlled number of COVID-19 cases were allowed to serve their 14-day stay-home notice in their place of residence rather than a dedicated facility.

READ: COVID-19: Singapore must be prepared for second wave of infections, ‘preventable’ if everyone plays their part, says Gan Kim Yong

Mr Wong emphasised that this was “not something new”, as the Government has “repeatedly emphasised our border measures are not static”, adding that the taskforce is “constantly reviewing, updating” border measures based on their assessments of the viral situation around the world.

“We really need to remain vigilant both at our borders, in terms of the measures we have in place at our borders, as well as within our community to continue to ensure that we control the infection and control the spread of the virus within our community,” he said.

All travellers who have left Singapore from Mar 27 and travellers who are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents will have to pay for their stay at dedicated stay-home notice facilities.

Responding to a question on the task force's travel advisory for Singaporeans for the rest of the year, Mr Wong said that the Government's position - not to travel out of the country - is "unlikely to change in the near term".

While green lane discussions will continue with countries who have "appropriate control measures", Mr Wong said that this will only be applicable to essential business travel. 

He added: "This will not apply to mass tourism travel. That I think will not happen any time soon."

Watch the full news conference and Q&A session: 

Source: CNA/cc


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