Lifting of Visa Requirements for Nationals from Liberia

SINGAPORE LIFTS VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NATIONALS FROM LIBERIA

With effect from 30 May 2015, nationals from Liberia will no longer require a visa to enter Singapore.

2              This follows WHO’s declaration on 9 May 2015 that Liberia was free of Ebola virus transmission, and that the outbreak there was over. The WHO declaration came after forty-two days had passed since the last laboratory-confirmed case in Liberia was buried on 28 Mar 2015.

3              The visa requirement was originally imposed in Nov 2014 to allow for better oversight of the entry of nationals from Ebola-affected countries, as well as facilitate possible contact tracing. In addition, it allows Singapore to inform the nationals of these countries during the visa application process, of its Ebola health advisory and actions they should take, should they develop symptoms while en route to or during their stay in Singapore.

4              As both Sierra Leone and Guinea continue to report new cases of Ebola Virus Disease and the WHO has not declared these countries free of Ebola virus transmission, nationals from Guinea and Sierra Leone will still require a visa to enter Singapore. The Ministry of Health (MOH) continues to closely monitor the Ebola situation in these countries. 

5              While the situation remains fluid, the Ministry's assessment continues to be that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses a low public health risk to Singapore. This is because person-to-person transmission results from direct contact with bodily fluids of those infected, and the current outbreak is limited to West Africa, and travel connectivity between Singapore and West Africa is low.

6              Before travelling to West Africa, members of the public are encouraged to refer to the MOH web page on Ebola for the latest Health Advisory. They should consider postponing travel to countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity (currently Guinea and Sierra Leone) if it is non-essential. Persons who need to travel are advised to adopt the necessary precautions, which includes the following:

-  Practise frequent hand washing (e.g. after going to toilet, or when hands are soiled); when soap and running water are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand rub can be used instead. The virus is not hardy and can easily be destroyed by such disinfectants.

-  Avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, as well as objects that may have become contaminated with these infectious fluids, such as soiled clothing, bed sheets, or used needles;

-   Avoid participating in burial ceremonies which require direct contact with the body of a deceased infected person.

-   Avoid contact with wild animals, including bats, monkeys, apes, chimpanzee and gorillas, whether alive or dead, including their raw or undercooked meat;

-   Returning travellers from countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity (currently Guinea and Sierra Leone) or travellers who suspect that they have been exposed to Ebola virus should seek immediate medical attention, if they develop any disease symptoms (i.e. sudden onset of high fever, stomach pains, diarrhoea, vomiting, rash or bleeding) within 3 weeks of their return. They should inform their doctor of their recent travel or contact history.

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