COVID-19: Singapore tightens border measures for travellers from Vietnam, eases for those from NSW

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4 min read
A traveller at the transit hall of Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore.
A traveller at the transit hall of Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore will be tightening its border measures for travellers from Vietnam from Friday (12 February), due to the rise in number of COVID-19 cases in the Southeast Asian country.

The COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce also announced in a media release on Tuesday (9 February) that it will ease border measures for travellers from Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state. In addition, the Business Travel Pass scheme will be tightened to minimise the risk of potential incubating cases leaking into the community.

Additional measures as Vietnam sees spike in cases

Currently, travellers from Vietnam are allowed to go about their activities in Singapore, without a need to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN), if their on-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results are negative.

However, from 12.59pm on Friday, Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and long-term pass holders with travel history to Vietnam within the last 14 days will be subject to a PCR test on arrival in Singapore; a 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities; as well as a PCR test before the end of the SHN period.

Those travellers who are not citizens or PRs will have to take a PCR test within 72 hours before departure from Vietnam. They will still be required to undergo the on-arrival PCR test, serve their SHN and be tested at the end of the SHN.

They are allowed to opt out of dedicated facilities and serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence if they fulfil these criteria:

  • Did not travel to any other country/region in the last 14 days prior to entry, with the exception of these locations: Australia, Brunei, Fiji, Hong Kong, Macao, mainland China, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.

  • Are alone in their place of residence, or only with household members also serving SHN, with the same travel history and SHN duration.

Meanwhile, short-term travellers holding an Air Travel Pass (ATP) with travel history to Vietnam within the last 14 days before departure, will not be allowed to enter Singapore.

Vietnam has seen a sudden spike on COVID-19 cases since late January, from 1,551 total cases on 27 January to 2,050 on Monday.

Ease in measures as New South Wales situation improves

Since 23 December last year, Singaporeans, PRs and long-term pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to NSW in the last 14 days have been subjected to a seven-day SHN at their place of residence, with a PCR test before the end of the SHN period.

Short-term visitors holding an ATP were not allowed to enter, if they had travel history to NSW within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore.

Since then, the COVID-19 situation in the Australian state has improved, with no local community cases recorded over the last 21 days.

As such, from 12.59pm on Wednesday (10 February), Singaporeans, PRs and long-term pass holders returning from NSW will only need to undergo a PCR test upon arrival. If the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.

Short-term visitors travelling from NSW can also apply for an ATP for entry into Singapore on or after 16 February. Similarly, they will undergo the PCR test upon arrival and, if the result is negative, will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.

More PCR tests on return for travellers on BTP scheme

The Business Travel Pass (BTP) scheme was introduced last June for senior executives in Singapore who need travel regularly for work. These travellers are required to abide by a controlled itinerary, and will undergo a PCR test upon returning to Singapore.

With immediate effect, travellers on this scheme are required to undergo PCR tests on Day Three, Day Seven and Day 14 of their return. An additional serology test will also be required on Day Three.

They are also to avoid events with more than eight attendees within 14 days of returning to Singapore.

Meanwhile, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a media release that it has conducted a one-time test operation of 825 crew from 27 January to 5 February.

These crew members were onboard 98 harbour craft that had undergone crew change between 17 December and 13 January. All were tested negative for COVID-19.

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