Critical Alert

Singapore to lift restrictions for entrants from Australia, Vietnam from Oct. 8. Other entry limits, domestic COVID-19 controls continue.

Alert Begins 01 Oct 2020 05:35 AM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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


Effective Oct. 8, Singapore will allow entry for all travelers, including returning Singapore citizens and residents, from Australia, except Victoria State, and Vietnam. Passengers must register online on the Safe Travel portal beginning Oct. 1 and at least seven days before the planned entry date. Applicants must have remained in either Australia (excluding Victoria State) or Vietnam for the last 14 consecutive days before entry. Travelers must self-isolate until results from an on-arrival coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test are ready; those who test negative are exempt from the compulsory Stay-Home Notice, though they must still use the TraceTogether mobile application for contact racing purposes. Officials will also allow locals to travel to the mentioned destinations. Similar arrangements are ongoing for passengers from Brunei and New Zealand since Sept. 8.

Authorities continue to ease domestic controls amid lower local COVID-19 activity. From Sept. 28, employees can work on-site for up to half of their working hours daily; a maximum of 50 percent of staff may be present at the workplace at a given time. Other rules, such as spacing work stations one meter apart from each other, remain in place. Authorities encourage companies to stagger working hours. Essential services, including medical and food retailers, can continue operating on-site with full staff capacity. Additionally, from Oct. 3, the government will increase the attendance limit at religious events at places of worship and weddings to 100 people, with safeguards such as dividing the attendees to multiple zones of up to 50 people each.

The government maintains 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 health protocols, including wearing facemasks in public. Most social gatherings remain capped at five people. Schools, retail stores, shopping centers, and select tourist sites are open with safeguards in place, while food establishments can serve dine-in customers. Officials have lifted entry restrictions to several popular wet markets. Foreign workers staying in dormitories must download the TraceTogether 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 do not provide 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. Arrivals must serve stay-at-home notice (SHN) for 14 days at government-designated premises, with exceptions. Travelers who spent the previous two weeks in mainland China, Macau, Malaysia, and Taiwan 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.

Singapore allows travel for business and other official reasons from Brunei; Japan; Malaysia; South Korea; 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 before 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.

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. Arrivals who have been in India in the past 14 days must test negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before departure.

Additionally, the government will pilot a scheme to allow Singapore-based senior business executives to travel overseas for work purposes regularly. The travelers must adhere to protocols, such as complying with a controlled itinerary while overseas and testing for COVID-19 or self-isolating upon returning to Singapore. The start date of the policy is unclear. The government may reintroduce or implement restrictions in the coming weeks if local COVID-19 activity increases.


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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