SINGAPORE: Long-haul pass holders and short-term visitors who recently traveled to the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Singapore from 11.59pm on Wednesday (December 23), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday.
The ministry said passengers, including short-term visitors to the UK within the past 14 days, would not be allowed to pass in or out of Singapore.
The announcement follows the discovery of a new epidemic of the corona virus novel in the UK, which British Health Secretary Matt Hankok said was “out of control”.
“There have been recent reports of an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus circulating in the UK,” MOH said.
“Authorities in the UK are also concerned about this new virus and have imposed even more stringent restrictions, including the imposition of a new lockout in London.
“We are introducing new border restrictions on travelers from the UK to reduce the risk of spreading to Singapore and as a precaution,” the ministry said.
Singapore’s move follows similar measures taken by other countries that have already banned flights from Britain, including Hong Kong, India, Germany and France.
The ban also applies to travelers who have approved prior entry into Singapore.
Returning Singaporean citizens and permanent residents must undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, at the beginning of their 14-day stay announcement.
Under current rules, all eligible travelers from the UK are required to provide 14 days notice of accommodation in a special facility. Residents must prepare a negative COVID-19 cloth wipe test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Singapore.
Health officials in the UK say the new strain could be 70 per cent more contagious. Although little is known about the strain, experts say current vaccines should be more effective against it.
“Although the strain is said to be more contagious, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether this strain is associated with any change in disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy,” he said.
“UK officials are investigating these aspects. When it comes out, the Ministry of Health will evaluate the data and review our border operations accordingly.”
The World Health Organization has warned of a new high COVID-19 variant, saying it is a natural part of the evolution of an epidemic.
The new variant has mutations that can affect children as well as adults – unlike previous strains, scientists at the UK government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threat Advisory Committee (NERVTAG) said on Monday.
Tight measures for New South Wales travelers
The MOH has announced that border operations for those with travel history to Australia’s New South Wales over the past 14 days will be tightened as the number of loans rises again from 11.59pm on Wednesday night.
All travelers from Australia are required to report their travel history at the airport checkpoint before leaving for Singapore.
Short-haul passengers who have an Air Travel Pass and have traveled to New South Wales within the last 14 days prior to departure to Singapore will not be allowed to enter the country.
Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders will be subject to a seven-day stay notice at their place of residence, with a COVID-19 PCR test before the end of the notice period.
Currently, all travelers from Australia are allowed to take the COVID-19 PCR test. If the test is negative, they will be allowed to learn about their activities in Singapore without having to provide a stay notice.
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, on Tuesday reduced the number of new COVID-19 cases purchased domestically in the last 24 hours to 15 from the previous day.
This is the lowest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases in nearly a week, sparking hopes that contact tracking and social distance are working to curb the dangerous new outbreak in Sydney.
Seven of the new cases were found in a cluster on Sydney’s north coast suburbs.
The cluster, first detected last week, has now grown to 90 cases, with authorities struggling to control the expansion just days before Christmas.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) responded to CNA’s questions on Tuesday by saying that those who have canceled flights from the UK or are no longer able to travel due to non-fulfillment of entry requirements will be subject to its global discount policy and will be able to keep their ticket value as air credit and reprint Or you can get a refund.
When asked about the impact of the new measures on capacity, the SIA said: “We are guided by regulatory authorities and will make changes to our capacity if necessary.”
Read: What we know about the new corona virus found in the UK
Govt-19 “Still raging”: Law Wong
Speaking to the media after the announcement of the new measures, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said that there were no “too many” travelers from the UK and that those who came to Singapore were not exposed to the community because they had to serve to stay. Home Notice.
“From that point of view, there is already security, but we have assessed the situation and decided to take further precautionary measures,” said Mr Wong, who is part of the Govt-19 multi-ministerial task force.
Mr Wong said the tightening of controls was a reminder that “we cannot reduce our security”.
“Yes, we are all excited about the arrival of vaccines last night and coming into stage 3. But, the virus is still rampant everywhere in the world, and now we have a new and more infectious strain of the virus.”
The Minister said that while the authorities are vigilant, “every Singaporean around our borders … in the community needs to be vigilant and co-operate in the actions we have taken”.
“We hope that everyone will do their part until we win this fight against COVID-19 so that we can be focused and disciplined and ultimately be all the way,” he said.
The first shipment of Pfizer-Bioentech Covit-19 vaccines arrived in Singapore on Monday, boasting of being the first country in Asia to receive the vaccine.
The vaccine is shipped a week before Singapore enters Phase 3 of the reopening.
In Phase 3, community gatherings of up to eight people are allowed, and families are allowed to receive up to eight visitors at any one time.
Officers will also increase capacity limits for seats. For malls and large individual stores, the capacity limit will be raised from 10 square meters per person to 8 square meters per person.