Singapore would require all inbound travellers to take a COVID test upon arrival, the country’s health ministry said on January 17 as the infection rate witnessed a steep rise in several countries across the world. Currently, the country only requires a negative result from non-permanent residents but would now require all to prove disinfection following the latest implementation on January 25. With over 59,113 cases and 29 fatalities, the country has managed to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
In the light of rapidly spreading mutant virus, the new rule would also require Citizens and permanent residents of Singapore who return from either the United Kingdom or South Africa will also be subject to an additional seven-day self-isolation at their place of residence following their 14-day stay at a dedicated facility, according to the statement. Both countries have reported new and much easier to spread coronavirus strains. However, the statement does not lay out any particular rule for people arriving from Japan, which reported a third mutation recently.
Starting February 1, all visitors applying to enter Singapore under the reciprocal green lane and air travel pass arrangements will need to have insurance for virus medical treatment and hospitalisation costs with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 ($22,560), the ministry added. As per the present rules, Singapore only requires travellers who are not citizens or permanent residents and who have recent travel history to high-risk countries or regions, to take a PCR test 72 hours before departure.
Meanwhile, Singapore kickstarted its vaccination drive with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong receiving the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine. He also called out all citizens to receive inoculations while ensuring that it is safe and efficient. Loong also assured that the government will have ‘ample’ amount of jabs for the entire country to bring the novel coronavirus outbreak under control. Unlike the mass vaccination programmes in the US and the UK, Singapore is administering the jabs having largely eradicated COVID-19 and has only recorded a handful of cases in recent months.