Singapore would be closing its borders to all short term visitors in a bid to save its resources and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, international media reported. The deadly virus has till now killed two and infected 432 people across the Singaporean territory. According to reports, the new measure would be put in place on March 23 at 11:59pm and would restrict all short term users from entering or transit through Singapore. Singapore's home ministry reportedly said that work pass holders and their dependants would only be allowed if they worked in essential sectors like healthcare and transport.
Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on COVID-19, announced on March 22 that “These are significant moves especially for a small open economy like Singapore which has always been connected to the world, but this is an unprecedented crisis. We deliberated over this carefully and the Taskforce has decided we need to put these measures in place in order to keep our borders safe and limit the number of new imported cases, and conserve our resources to focus on returning Singaporeans.”
Previously, short term visitors from all but a few nations like China had to serve a 14-day stay at home notice once they have entered. However, the ministry revealed that Singapore's resources were being expended to serve them. Therefore, in a bid to save those resources, this move was introduced. According to reports, Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long terms residents returning from abroad will serve a two-week stay at home notice. Also, any work pass holder who decided to leave Singapore would not be allowed to reenter unless they prove that their work for crucial sectors. This comes as the deadly virus has infected 188 nations infecting over 3,08,615 patients and killing 13,071.