COVID-19: 14-day SHN for Singapore visitors who have recently travelled to Sabah

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
A woman wearing a mask passes a flight information board at Changi Airport in Singapore March 5, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A woman wearing a mask passes a flight information board at Changi Airport in Singapore on 5 March, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Travellers who have recently travelled to Sabah will now need to serve a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities after entering Singapore, given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases there, among other updated border measures by the authorities, including the lifting of visa suspension.

This will apply to all travellers – who have a travel history in the past 14 days to Sabah – entering Singapore from 11.59pm on Wednesday (14 October), including returning Singapore-based travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), as well as Malaysian residents entering Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement, aid the Ministry of Health on Monday.

Travellers from all other parts of Malaysia will continue to serve a seven-day stay-home notice at their place of residence.

“We are monitoring the situation across other states and federal territories closely, including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Putrajaya,” said the MOH.

Pre-departure tests required for travellers from Indonesia, Philippines

Travellers who have recently travelled to Indonesia or the Philippines – and who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents, will also need to present a valid negative COVID-19 swab test result to enter or transfer through Singapore, to reduce the importation of cases from the two countries.

This requirement will kick in from 11.59pm on 19 October. These travellers will still be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities and to take a negative COVID-19 test before the end of their notice.

Reduced stay-home notice for travellers from Hong Kong

With the improved situation in Hong Kong, the SHN period will be halved to seven days at their place of residence, for travellers from Hong Kong entering Singapore, starting from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

The city joins other low-risk countries and regions whose travellers are allowed to serve a reduced seven-day notice at their place of residence here instead of a designated facility: Macao, Mainland China, Malaysia – excluding Sabah – and Taiwan.

Border restrictions for safe countries and regions – where the risk of importation of the virus is low – have been lifted to allow general travel. They are Brunei, New Zealand, Australia – excluding Victoria State – and Vietnam. Travellers from these places will undergo a COVID-19 test upon their arrival here in lieu of serving the notice.

Lifting of visa suspension

Short-term visitors who require a visa to enter Singapore can apply for visas though a local contact, Singapore overseas mission or authorised visa agent from 11.59pm on 18 October.

Visitors who had already been issued with visas that are still valid, as well as those who are eligible for the visa-free transit facility, do not need to re-apply or apply.

“The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will resume the issuance of new visas. However, the possession of a visa alone does not guarantee entry into Singapore; travellers must still seek prior approval via the appropriate COVID-19 travel schemes,” said the MOH.

“COVID-19 testing is an integral part of the safe re-opening of our borders,” the ministry noted, adding that COVID-19 tests will be made more accessible to travellers.

Currently, there are over 150 clinics that provide pre-departure testing to eligible travellers and the MOH said it will increase the number of clinics and providers who can administer such tests.

Laboratories, clinics and swab service providers who are interested can apply to the ministry for approval to provide such COVID-19 testing services, it added.

“We will also gradually liberalise COVID-19 testing to allow those who require a test more options to procure such services from approved providers,” said the MOH.

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