Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Singapore to ease some domestic COVID-19 restrictions from June 2. International travel bans, quarantine measures remain in place.

This alert affects Singapore

This alert began 20 May 2020 07:56 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Authorities in Singapore plan to ease some domestic restrictions from June 2 due to reduced coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity in the community. Select businesses, including financial and insurance services, shipping and logistics services, and manufacturing plants of nonessential products, will be allowed to resume operations with social distancing measures in place. Essential services, including medical and transport services, food retailers, and industries important to global supply chains, can continue to operate. Most retail outlets and businesses offering nonessential services, along with sports and recreational facilities, will remain closed; the government will continue to ban dining-in at food establishments. Authorities continue to require offices to implement telecommuting options where possible. Officials are maintaining Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Orange, the second-highest level, indicating some human-to-human transmission in the country.

While social gatherings remain banned, individuals are allowed to visit parents or grandparents living in another household. Places of worship will reopen for activities involving a maximum of five people from the same household. In public, wearing masks will remain mandatory, with some exceptions, such as for individuals doing strenuous exercise and children below two years old. Officials continue to restrict entry to some locations that attract crowds, such as wet markets, by designating specific days that people can enter these areas based on the last digit of their National Registration Identification Card or Foreign Identification Number. First-time offenders will face SGD 300 (USD 210) fines, while repeat offenders will receive higher fines and could face prosecution.

State carrier Singapore Airlines (SQ) and its subsidiaries, Scoot (TR) and SilkAir (MI), continue to suspend most of their scheduled flights. Singapore-based airline JetStar Asia Airways (3K) has resumed routes to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila.

Travel Restrictions

Only Singaporean citizens and permanent residents can enter the country, with limited exceptions. Authorities have banned entry for all short-term visa holders; the measure extends to work pass holders and their dependents, except for those providing essential services. Long-term visit pass and student pass holders will need to apply for government approval before traveling to Singapore. All arrivals have to submit an online health declaration up to three days before entering the country. Officials are continuing to conduct enhanced health screenings for incoming travelers at all points of entry; passengers who show COVID-19 symptoms must undergo a swab test. Inbound travelers will undergo two-week quarantine at government-designated facilities. Authorities have advised residents to avoid nonessential international travel. The Johor Causeway, which links Singapore to Malaysia, is open 0700-1900 daily. The government may reintroduce or expand measures in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country.

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.

Postpone 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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