COVID-19: Singapore tightens measures for travellers from Malaysia, Japan

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
A woman wearing a mask passes a flight information board at Changi Airport in Singapore March 5, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A woman wearing a mask passes a flight information board at Changi Airport in Singapore on 5 March, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Singapore authorities on Friday (20 November) re-tightened border measures for travellers from Malaysia and Japan given the spike in COVID-19 cases in both countries.

From 11.59pm on Sunday, all travellers who have travelled in the past 14 days to Malaysia will now be required to serve a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities after entering Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This also applies to those entering Singapore to work under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement and returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore – Malaysia Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL).

Authorities had earlier announced that travellers from Malaysia – excluding Sabah – are allowed to serve a seven-day SHN at their place of residence.

From 11.59pm on 27 November, all travellers – except Singaporeans and permanent residents – who have travelled in the past 14 days to Malaysia will also need to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before their departure to Singapore.

Travellers will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter Singapore. This requirement will not apply for returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore – Malaysia RGL.

For those who travel from Japan

From 11.59pm on Sunday, all travellers who have travelled in the past 14 days to Japan will be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities after entering Singapore, even if they have obtained approval to opt out earlier – to serve the notice at their place of residence.

This requirement will also apply to returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore – Japan RGL.

Authorities had earlier announced on 27 October that travellers from Japan were allowed to opt-out of serving their 14-day notice at a dedicated facility if they had a suitable place of residence.

Travellers from Fiji, Finland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey will continue to be allowed to apply to opt-out of dedicated facilities and serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence.

However, this only applies if they have not travelled elsewhere apart from the above-mentioned countries in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry and are occupying their place of residence alone, or only with household members who are also persons serving the notice with the same travel history and duration of SHN.

The COVID-19 tests will continue to be administered before the end of the SHN, said authorities.

“All travellers are reminded to accurately declare their travel history. Strict enforcement actions will be taken against false declarations,” said the MOH.

Malaysia on Thursday reported 1,290 new cases, close to double the infection figure from the day before, while Japan’s nationwide tally hit a new high of 2,363.

Tokyo on the same day raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level, an indication that “infections are spreading”, compared with the previous, second-highest level of “infections are starting to spread”.

On Friday, the MOH confirmed four new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, all imported, marking the 10th day in a row with no new locally-transmitted infections.

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