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07 Nov 2022

21st Aug 2020

             The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has reviewed our border measures to manage the risks of importation and onward local transmission from travellers. We will update the travel advisory to allow general travel to Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand, as well as travel for overseas studies. Travellers from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand will be subject to a COVID-19 test upon arrival, in lieu of a Stay-Home Notice (SHN). We will also reduce the SHN duration from 14 days to 7 days for travellers from low risk countries/regions.

2.             The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will continue to allow a calibrated resumption of economic and social activities, while putting in place measures where needed to ensure that activities can continue to be conducted safely. Outdoor exercise classes will be allowed to resume on certain conditions, while additional measures will be put in place to manage crowds, as well as to ensure continued safe dining-in at F&B outlets. Businesses and individuals need to play their part in ensuring that community transmission remains low. 

Update on Border Measures

3.             We recognise that the risk of importation from travellers varies across countries/regions as they are at different stages of putting in place effective systems to control the infection. We have taken a risk managed approach to our border controls and calibrated our border measures based on the assessed risk of importation and onward transmission in the community.

4.             Since 21 March 2020, we have implemented a 14-day SHN on all incoming travellers (i.e. Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders [1]) to minimise the risk of importation leading to community spread in Singapore. Since 18 June 2020, we have also allowed travellers from selected low risk countries/regions – Australia (excluding Victoria State), Brunei Darussalam, Macao, Mainland China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam – to serve their 14-day SHN at their own place of residence.  A testing regime before the end of SHN has also been put in place for all incoming travellers. 

5.             We have monitored the situation and assessed that there are several countries/regions where the virus situation is well under control and the risk of importation is low. We will therefore update our border measures accordingly. Changes will be with effect from 1 September 2020, 0000 hours, for all travellers entering or departing Singapore.

Opening up Entry to Visitors from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand

6.             Amongst these low-risk countries, we will start by lifting our current border restrictions to allow the entry of visitors from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand into Singapore. Travellers entering Singapore and who have remained in either Brunei Darussalam or New Zealand in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry [2] will not be required to serve a SHN. Instead, they will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative test result.

7.             Prior to travelling to Singapore, visitors from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand will need to apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) between 7 and 30 days before their intended date of entry into Singapore. They will be responsible for their medical bills should they require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore. Application for the ATP will start from 1 September 2020 for travel from 8 September 2020. More details will be provided by the Ministry of Transport next week.

8.             Returning Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders[3] will similarly not have to serve SHN and will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival. They do not need to apply for an ATP.

Reduced SHN of 7 Days for Travellers from Low Risk Countries/Regions

9.             There are other low risk countries/regions where an SHN may also not be needed. But out of abundance of caution we will keep the SHN for now.  However, we will shorten the SHN duration from the current 14 days to 7 days, and allow travellers to serve the SHN at their place of residence[4]. These low risk countries/regions are Australia (excluding Victoria State), Macao, Mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and  Malaysia. The COVID-19 test will continue to be administered before the end of the 7-day SHN.

10.          All other incoming travellers will continue to serve their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities, and will be subject to a test before the end of the SHN. Existing travel conditions, including adherence to SHN requirements[5] and applying for relevant approvals[6] before entering Singapore, continue to apply. Travel conditions under specific travel arrangements (such as Green/Fast Lane arrangements and Periodic Commuting Arrangement with Malaysia), will also continue to apply. Persons serving SHN are reminded to use only the permitted modes of transport and avoid taking public transport.

Update on Travel Advisory

11.          With the lifting of border restrictions to visitors from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand, we will update the travel advisory to allow general travel to Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand. Travellers to Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand are advised to check the entry requirements imposed by these countries, and take the necessary precautionary measures.

12.          We will also update the travel advisory to allow travel for studies for students pursuing academic qualification overseas, and where distance-learning is not offered as an option by the education institution.[7]

13.          Singaporeans and residents of Singapore are advised to defer all other forms of travel overseas. Essential travel for business, official and work purposes will continue to be permitted under Green/Fast Lane arrangements and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement. When overseas, travellers should take all necessary precautions, observe good personal hygiene, monitor local developments, and heed the advice of local authorities.

14.          All travellers will be subject to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including payment for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities and tests, where applicable[8]. Travellers who have complied with the travel advisories will be eligible for Government subsidies, and MediShield Life (MSHL) and Integrated Shield Plan (IP) coverage for their COVID-19 treatment should they have onset of symptoms within 14 days of their return to Singapore and require hospital admission for suspected COVID-19 infection.

Regular Review of Border Measures

15.          Singapore’s border measures will evolve as the global situation changes. We will continue to monitor the global health situation closely and update our border measures in accordance with the public health risk assessment. If the situation in a country/region deteriorates, more stringent measures will be put in place to limit the risk of importation and prevent community transmission from imported cases. We encourage everyone to check the MOH website regularly for the latest updates.

Update on Community Measures

Resumption of Outdoor Exercise Classes at Public Spaces

16.          Since the beginning of Phase Two, organised exercise classes conducted by instructors have been allowed to take place in both private and public sports facilities subject to respective premise owners’ permission and conditions, in groups of five (with a 2-metre safe distancing between individuals unless the activity requires otherwise and a 3-metre safe distancing between groups), up to a total class size of 50 persons, or lower depending on the venue capacity and safe distancing measures.

17.          From 1 September 2020, we will expand the list of public facilities where such classes can be held to include more open spaces at SportSG sport centres, parks, and HDB common areas. These classes in newly opened areas must be organised by an instructor who will be responsible for ensuring that the safe management measures are put in place and adhered to. These measures include temperature and symptoms screening, safe distancing, and maintaining a list of participants in venues where SafeEntry is not deployed. The instructor must be registered to conduct these activities, and more details on the registration process will be released subsequently. Instructors and participants should follow the stipulated safe management measures as well as any other conditions stipulated by the premise owner. General group exercises that are not organised by these instructors will continue to be capped at five persons, in addition to any conditions stipulated by the premise owner.

Continued Calibrated Approach in Managing Crowds

18.          As general activity increases, it may not be practicable to maintain a 1-metre safe distancing requirement in some specific settings, such as public transport. As more activities resume, lift lobbies have also become increasingly crowded. To reduce the risk of overcrowding in lifts and lift lobbies, we will put in place stringent safe management measures in lifts while exempting them from the 1-metre safe distancing requirement. These safe management measures include wearing of masks, refraining from speaking, and using hand sanitisers provided in lifts, which will ensure a safe lift ride for all. Lift users should continue to observe safe distancing in lift lobbies.

19.          At the same time, some mall managers have been facing persistent challenges in managing crowds and ensuring safe distancing. Based on trends observed since the start of Phase Two, Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza, in particular, attract large crowds and long queues to enter on weekends. To better manage crowds and ensure that safe distancing can be observed both inside and outside the buildings, from 29 August 2020, the two malls will implement odd and even date entry restrictions on weekends, based on the last digit of an individual’s National Registration Identification Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN). More details will be provided by Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore separately. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will continue to monitor the situation closely, and other malls or premises that face similar crowd management issues may also be required to adopt this entry restriction.

Continued Safe Dining-in at F&B Outlets

20.          Over the past few weeks, some F&B outlets have been observed to be playing extremely loud music, causing patrons to have to talk more loudly to be heard which increases the risk of droplet spread. Patrons at some of these outlets were also found to be not wearing their masks for prolonged periods, with some even mixing with persons from other tables. Our Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action against such errant operators and patrons who put themselves and other patrons at risk.  

21.          As an added precaution, we will tighten the rules to allow recorded music at F&B outlets to be played as soft background music only. Live music, live broadcasts (both TV and radio) as well as video screenings remain disallowed.    

22.          We also urge everyone to refrain from booking multiple tables for large gatherings in F&B outlets, and also seek the cooperation of F&B outlets not to accept such reservations. Households with more than five persons and who wish to dine out together may book more than one table to accommodate everyone in the household. They should however limit their interactions between tables. Other than that, there should not be organized events, celebrations or parties in an F&B setting involving multiple tables, and where people are mingling amongst themselves without their masks on. Our Enforcement Officers will step up their checks in F&B outlets and take enforcement action against any breaches of safe distancing rules by the individuals or the F&B operators.

Playing Our Part in the Fight Against COVID-19

23.          We urge everyone to do their part to ensure that our businesses and public spaces can continue to be safe spaces for all, by observing safe distancing and avoiding peak periods and crowded places. In addition, all who are unwell, including those showing early/mild symptoms of cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell, should see a doctor immediately and stay at home to prevent spreading illness to others. This is the best way we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community.

[1] Long Term Pass (LTP) holders refer to Work Pass holders, Student’s Pass holders, Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders and Dependant’s Pass holders, as well as those who have been granted In-Principle Approval (IPA) for a LTP.

[2] For direct travel from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand into Singapore only.

[3] LTPHs need to apply for ALE as per arrangement today

[4] Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents may serve their 7-day SHN at their place of residence. Long-Term Pass holders may serve their 7-day SHN at a place of residence that they or their family members own or are sole tenants of; or in suitable accommodation such as a hotel.

[5] All persons serving SHN must remain in their place of SHN accommodation at all times, except when travelling for their COVID-19 test. They will also be required to either don an electronic monitoring device throughout their SHN period or download the Homer mobile app for the purpose of SHN monitoring (except for those aged 12 and below).

[6] All Long-Term Pass holders will continue to require prior approval before entering Singapore. We are also not allowing short-term visitors except those coming in under the Green/Fast Lane arrangements, with Air Travel Pass or with special prior approval.

[7] Overseas studies should be of at least one academic year, for courses which require physical presence in the foreign educational institution, and which will lead to attainment of academic qualifications. Existing students who are completing such academic programs (i.e. balance duration of less than an academic year) are included. Students below the age of 18 may be accompanied by an adult. Mature students may travel overseas with their dependents who will be residing with them for the duration of their studies.

[8] Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who last left before 27 Mar 2020 will not be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facility, but will still be required to pay for their COVID-19 test when entering Singapore from 1 September 2020 (waived if they enter by 31 Aug 2020). All other travellers have to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facility and COVID-19 test, where applicable.