Wuhan virus: 15 people barred from entry into Singapore since new travel curbs

·Editorial team
·2-min read
Travellers in face masks seen at Changi Airport's Terminal 1. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)
Travellers in face masks seen at Changi Airport's Terminal 1. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — As of 1pm on Sunday (2 February), 15 travellers have been refused entry into Singapore following the latest restrictions imposed on new visitors with a recent travel history to mainland China.

“They comprise one Spanish, one British, one Malaysian, two US, five PRC and five Indian passport holders, due to either their travel histories to mainland China in the last 14 days, or suspension of visa facilities,” said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in response to media queries.

As of 11.59pm on Saturday, all new visitors – regardless of nationality – who have visited mainland China in the within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into, or to transit through, Singapore.

This ruling was among the measures announced by the government on Friday to limit the number of new imported Wuhan coronavirus – or 2019-nCov – cases and reduce the risk of community spread. Singapore has so far seen 18 imported virus cases, including two Singaporeans.

Other measures introduced on Friday included the immediate suspension of all forms of new visas to those with China passports and the freezing of Singapore’s status as a visa-free transit facility for those with such passports.

In a separate media release on Saturday, ICA reiterated that the new ruling would not apply to Chinese nationals already in Singapore and said that it would extend their Social Visit Passes (SVPs) based on “prevailing guidelines”.

“We are agreeable to extend their stay because, for example, a Chinese visitor who had been granted entry into Singapore earlier, and was granted 30 days’ stay, when they apply for an extension, would have been in Singapore for more than 14 days, and there is therefore less risk that they would be carrying the 2019-nCoV, as compared to others who may still be in China,” said ICA.

The authority added that, as of Saturday, it had already extended over 50 applications for SVP extensions of Chinese passport holders since the government announced the suspension of new visas.

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