Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Singapore to ban travelers from France, Germany, Italy, and Spain from March 16 due to COVID-19. Other measures remain in place.

This alert affects Singapore

This alert began 13 Mar 2020 08:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport restrictions and enhanced health screenings; possible business disruptions, quarantine measures

Summary
Singaporean authorities have announced an entry ban on foreign nationals who have traveled to France, Germany, Italy, and Spain within 14 days of arrival starting March 16 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government continues to ban foreign citizens who visited mainland China, Iran, South Korea, and northern Italy from entering the country. Singaporean citizens, permanent residents, or long-term pass holders re-entering from affected locations are subject to a mandatory 14-day isolation period at their place of residence, while those returning from mainland China's Hubei Province will undergo compulsory quarantine at government facilities. Authorities may expand travel restrictions to additional locations in the coming weeks. The duration of the measures will likely depend on the course of the outbreak in various countries.

Officials have implemented checks, including temperature measurements, for incoming travelers at all points of entry, including Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). Authorities require passengers showing COVID-19 symptoms to undergo a swab test upon arrival in Singapore and will transfer travelers who meet the clinical suspect case definition to hospitals for further checks. Officials will issue a 14-day Stay-Home Notice for symptomatic passengers, regardless of the swab test result.

Authorities are maintaining the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level at orange, the second-highest level, as of March 13. Under the DORSCON orange level, authorities have limited access to some facilities, such as schools, and canceled inter-school activities. Officials are also implementing temperature checks and controlling entry points at hospitals.

Additionally, the government has announced several social-distancing restrictions. From March 13, authorities have ordered organizers of ticketed cultural, sports, and entertainment events with 250 participants or more to defer or cancel the gatherings. For events that have already sold tickets, officials will require organizers to show that they have taken sufficient precautionary measures before proceeding. The government has also advised private and religious organizations to implement several restrictions, including reducing the size of events to below 250 people. Officials have also asked companies to consider implementing more safeguards, including seat spacing in offices, alternative commute times, and telecommuting options.

As of March 13, Iraq and Israel continue to restrict entry for foreign nationals with recent visits in Singapore. Several countries, including India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea, and Thailand, have advised their citizens to avoid nonessential travel to Singapore due to ongoing COVID-19 activity within the country. Additional foreign governments may update their warnings for the country, and possibly restrict travel from Singapore, in the coming weeks.

Advice
Review business continuity plans; consider adopting telecommuting options. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, particularly if traveling from affected countries. Consider postponing travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Review national travel advisories; confirm flights traveling from Singapore to countries with active travel advisories.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Ministry of Health: www.moh.gov.sg