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26 Nov 2021

26th Nov 2021

         The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has been closely monitoring the global COVID-19 situation and will be tightening border measures given the deteriorating situation in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

 

Restricting Travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

 

2.             Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe are currently Category IV countries and arriving travellers with recent travel history to these countries are currently required to serve a 10-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities. South Africa is currently a Category II country and arriving travellers from South Africa are subjected to a 7-day SHN at their declared place of accommodation.

 

3.             There have been recent reports of a potentially more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus, the B.1.1.529 which may be circulating in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Scientists around the world are still finding out more about the new variant of virus, such as whether it is more transmissible than the Delta variant, whether it is more likely to lead to severe illnesses, and efficacy of existing vaccines against this new variant. Singapore currently has no cases of this variant.

 

4.             In the meantime, we should take the necessary precautions to reduce the risks of spread of B.1.1.529 to Singapore.  We are therefore putting in place new restrictions for travellers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. From 27 November 2021, 2359 hours:

 

a.    All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore. This restriction will apply to those who have obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.

 

b.    Returning Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents will be subjected to a 10-day SHN at dedicated SDF.

 

c.     South Africa will be placed in Category IV1.

 

5.             These additional border restrictions will apply for four weeks in the first instance, after which we will review and extend the restrictions if necessary.

 

6.             As mentioned, while the variant has been suggested to be more transmissible, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine if this variant is associated with any change in disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy. These aspects are being investigated. The Ministry of Health will evaluate the data as it emerges and review our border measures accordingly.

 

7.             The updated country/region classification and its corresponding border measure may be found in Annex A. The full list of Safe Travel Lanes for travel to Singapore and prevailing border measures under each lane for different categories and changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Not all lanes may utilise the Category I/II/III/IV health measure framework. Travellers are advised to visit the website to check the latest border measures for their country/region which will apply upon entry into Singapore

 

Regular Review of Border Measures

 

8.             As the global situation evolves, we will continue to adjust our border measures in tandem with our roadmap to becoming a COVID resilient nation. Any changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Travellers are advised to visit the website to check the latest border measures for the associated country or region before entering Singapore; and be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry.

 

9.             All travellers are reminded to accurately declare their travel history. Strict enforcement actions will be taken against false declarations.


MINISTRY OF HEALTH
26 NOVEMBER 2021


[1] Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe are currently in Category IV