Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Singapore to allow business, official travel from South Korea from Sept. 4. Domestic controls, entry restrictions ongoing.

Alert Begins 03 Sep 2020 06:25 AM UTC
Alert Expires 02 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport restrictions, enhanced health screenings, quarantine measures, business disruptions

Singapore continues to adjust controls, including travel restrictions, to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials will allow business and other official travels from South Korea in a so-called fast lane arrangement from Sept. 4. Singapore allows travel for the same reasons from Brunei; Malaysia; and Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces and Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin municipalities in mainland China. Travelers allowed under the schemes must have a sponsoring Singaporean government agency or company and test negative for COVID-19 within 48-72 hours of departure. Upon arrival, they must receive another COVID-19 test and remain at their accommodation until the test returns negative; they must also adhere to controlled itineraries for the first 14 days of their visit.

Domestic Restrictions
The government is maintaining its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) at Orange, the second-highest level, indicating some human-to-human transmission in the country. Authorities continue to require people to practice distancing measures, including wearing masks in public. However, the government has eased gathering and commercial restrictions. Select places of worship can host public events for up to 100 people, though activities at most religious sites remain limited to 50 people. Most social gatherings remain capped at five people; funerals and weddings can involve up to 30 and 50 people, respectively. Schools, retail stores, shopping centers, and select tourist sites are open with safeguards in place, while food establishments can serve dine-in customers.

Multiple sectors, including finance, insurance, shipping, and logistics, can operate on-site with distancing measures. Essential services, including medical and food retailers, are operating with full staff capacity. Other companies must implement telecommunicating options if possible. Officials limit entry into several popular wet markets and shopping centers, based on the last digit of identification numbers. Offenders will face fines and possible prosecution. Foreign workers staying in dormitories must download the TraceTogether contact tracing application and FWMOMCare health monitoring application.

The Johor Causeway, which links Singapore to Malaysia, is open 0700-1900 daily. State carrier Singapore Airlines (SQ) and its subsidiaries, Scoot (TR) and SilkAir (MI), continue to suspend most flights but plan to resume operations to several locations gradually. Singapore-based airline JetStar Asia Airways (3K) has resumed some routes. Foreigners flying with SQ, TR, and MI from select cities can transit via Singapore Changi Airport (SIN).

Travel Restrictions
Officials continue to ban entry of short-term visa holders, including work pass holders who are not providing essential services, with exceptions. Long-term visit pass and student pass holders must apply for official approval before traveling to Singapore. Incoming passengers must submit online health declarations up to three days before arrival. All travelers must serve stay-at-home notice (SHN) for 14 days at government-designated premises, with exceptions. Travelers who spent the previous two weeks in Australia (except Victoria State), mainland China, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam can serve a seven-day SHN in their residences. Travelers must test negative for COVID-19 at the end of their SHN before they can leave the SHN facilities. Long-term pass holders from Malaysia traveling under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) program must isolate upon arrival for at least seven days or until they test negative for COVID-19, whichever is later.

Officials plan to allow leisure travel without SHN for people resident in Brunei or New Zealand for 14 days before their trip from Sept. 8. Foreign nationals from these locations must apply for an Air Travel Pass for entry; upon arrival, these travelers must undergo a COVID-19 test and self-isolate at their accommodation until they receive a negative test result. Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders are exempt from the requirement.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Consider postponing travel if affected by travel restrictions. Confirm flight status before checking out of accommodation and departing for the airport. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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