SINGAPORE — From Friday (3 December), all air travellers entering or transiting through Singapore must undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, as part of new measures to detect and contain the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
In addition, air travellers on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) who arrived after the cut-off date must undergo additional supervised self-administered antigen rapid tests (ART) at a Quick Test Centre on days three and seven after their arrival.
These measures will apply for four weeks in the first instance, and will be reviewed and extended if necessary, said the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 (MTF) on Tuesday.
The new rules will kick in after 1159pm on Thursday.
Travellers from Category I countries/regions must undergo a pre-departure test (PDT) within two days of their departure for Singapore and obtain a negative result.
Those entering the city-state from Category II, III and IV countries, must undergo a PCR test on arrival. To expedite on-arrival testing, travellers should register and make payment for their on-arrival tests prior to departing.
Those arriving via land links with Malaysia will only be subject to an on-arrival ART. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the risk of importation is mitigated by the travel restrictions Malaysia has imposed on countries/regions affected by Omicron, and the restriction of eligibility to citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders of both countries in the initial phase of the land VTL.
Additional measures taken
Authorities are also conducting a one-time surveillance PCR testing exercise for travellers who arrived between 12 and 27 November, and had travelled to the countries/regions affected by Omicron in the 14 days before their arrival.
Furthermore, a weekly PCR rostered routine testing is being reinstated for airport and other border frontline workers who may come into contact with travellers from countries/regions affected by Omicron. Cabin crew serving flights from these countries will be subjected to an on-arrival PCR test, and post-arrival PCR tests on days three and seven following each flight duty.
Other airport and border frontline workers will continue with ART-based testing. Such individuals presenting a positive ART will have to go for a confirmatory PCR test.
All Singapore residents are also advised to defer all travel to higher risk countries/regions, that include Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe until further notice.
Those visiting countries or regions with reported cases of the Omicron variant, or countries with high traffic volume to these higher risk countries or regions, should take extra precautions, including wearing masks and observing good personal hygiene even if these requirements are not required there, MOH said.
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