Singapore to ban travelers from parts of South Korea from Feb. 27 due to COVID-19 activity. Raised health alert level in effect.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 25 Feb 2020 04:06 GMT and is scheduled to expire 10 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
Authorities will ban foreign passengers who have traveled to Daegu and Cheongdo County in South Korea from entering the country starting Feb. 27, following a sharp increase in novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in those areas. Singapore continues to ban foreign travelers who visited mainland China in the previous 14 days, as well as all Chinese passport holders from entering the country. Foreign nationals with permanent residency status or long-term passes are exempt from the restrictions. The duration of the travel restrictions will likely depend on the course of the outbreak in China, South Korea, and other countries.

Officials are maintaining the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level at orange - the second-highest level - as of Feb. 26. 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. Authorities have also encouraged workplaces to review business continuity plans and consider telecommute options. Companies may also require employees to conduct regular temperature checks and report any symptoms, such as coughing. Authorities have also advised event organizers to cancel or defer non-essential large-scale gatherings.

Enhanced health screenings continue for all passengers at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). Officials are using thermal scanners and staff checks to monitor incoming travelers; staff will take any passengers experiencing symptoms to nursing stations onsite. Temperature checks are occurring at all land and sea points of entry; officials could refer passengers with a high temperature to hospitals for assessment.

Iraq and Israel have temporarily restricted entry for travelers from Singapore as of Feb. 26. Several countries, including India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar, and South Korea, are advising their citizens to avoid nonessential travel to Singapore due to ongoing COVID-19 activity. Additional foreign governments may update their warnings for the country as conditions warrant.

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 mainland China or South Korea. 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

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