Visitors with recent travel history to UK, New South Wales to be barred from entering Singapore

Travellers at the arrival hall of Singapore Changi Airport.
Travellers at the arrival hall of Singapore Changi Airport. (PHOTO: Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — From 11.59pm on Wednesday (23 December), all short-term visitors with travel history to the UK or Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore.

In addition, long-term pass holders with similar travel history to the UK will also not be allowed entry into the Republic.

These are among a list of tightening border measures by the multi-ministry taskforce for COVID-19 (MTF) in a media release on Tuesday, given the deteriorating situation in the UK, and resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases in NSW.

PCR tests for S’poreans, PRs returning with travel history to UK

For returning Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) who have travel history to the UK in the last 14 days, they will be required to undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, at the start of their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

“There have been recent reports of a potentially more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus circulating in Britain,” said the MTF in the media release.

“Officials within the UK are also concerned about this new virus and have put in place more stringent restrictions, including imposing a new lockdown in London.

“While the strain has been suggested to be more transmissible, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine if this strain is associated with any change in disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy.

“The Ministry of Health will evaluate the data as it emerges and review our border measures accordingly.”

Currently, travellers with travel history to the UK within 14 days prior to departure to Singapore are required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities. Travellers who are not Singaporeans and PRs are also required to take a PCR test within 72 hours before departure and present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter Singapore.

SHN for S’poreans, PRs, long-term pass holders with travel history to NSW

In the case of travellers from Australia, they are allowed to undergo a PCR test upon arrival, and if the PCR test result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore, without a need to serve a SHN.

However, given the increased cases observed in NSW – the state of Australia’s biggest city Sydney – MTF will be tightening border control measures for travellers with travel history to the state from 11.59pm on Wednesday:

  • All travellers departing from Australia will be required to declare their travel history at airline check-in prior to their flight to Singapore;

  • Short-term travellers holding an Air Travel Pass with travel history to NSW within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore, will not be allowed to enter Singapore.

  • Singaporeans, PRs and long-term pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to NSW, Australia within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore, will be subject to a seven-day SHN at their place of residence with a PCR test before the end of the SHN period.

  • All other travellers departing from Australia who have been in Australia (excluding NSW) in the last 14 days prior to travel will continue to be subject to a PCR test upon arrival at the airport, in lieu of their SHN.

Any changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Travellers are advised to visit the website to check for the most updated border measures before entering Singapore and be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including payment for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities, tests and treatment.

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