Singapore 'significantly' simplifies COVID19 testing procedures to require travellers to undergo only one PCR test after arrival in Singapore
SINGAPORE: Singapore announced on Saturday (Oct 23) that it will re-open its borders to travellers from six countries, including Bangladesh and India, as well as loosen testing and stay-home notice restrictions for several other countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia. This follows a review of the COVI
In addition, most travellers will undergo fewer tests from 11.59pm on Oct 26.All travellers from Category II (non-Vaccinated Travel Lane destinations), III and IV countries will no longer need to undergo an on-arrival Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
Instead, they will only undergo an exit PCR test at the end of their stay-home notice.Category III and IV travellers will also no longer have to undergo additional Antigen Rapid Test (ARTs) on the third and seventh days of their arrival, during their stay-home notice period.
FULLY-VACCINATED DOMESTIC WORKERSAuthorities had also previously announced that the country will allow necessary workers and students to enter Singapore in a “safe and calibrated manner” from Nov 1, as long as they are fully vaccinated before arrival. headtopics.com
“As part of this move, we will facilitate the entry of more domestic workers, to meet urgent domestic and caregiving needs of local households, while regulating the numbers carefully as the global situation evolves,” said the release.WHY IS SINGAPORE RELAXING ITS BORDERS?
Speaking at a press conference by the COVID-19 task force, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said one of the most common questions asked was why Singapore was re-opening its borders, despite not easing domestic restrictions such as allowing larger groups to dine in.
He explained that border restrictions were earlier put in place to prevent infections from “gushing into” the country.“Now the situation has changed,” he said.“After going through big transmission waves for many months, the pandemic situations in many countries have stabilised and their infection rates are - some of them are even lower than Singapore's. So we can open up travel lanes with these countries safely.”
To be even safer, only fully vaccinated travellers are allowed, and testing is required – which is why imported infections only constitute “a very small fraction” of total community infections, he said.Related:There are also many benefits to opening the borders, including allowing the country to bring in “much needed” workers to complete infrastructure projects, such as public housing flats, he said. headtopics.com
Allowing in domestic workers will also relieve the stress on many families in Singapore, he said.“I think (these steps) will make life easier for many businesses, for contractors, as well as for families.”A reporter also asked Mr Ong whether other countries’ categorisation of Singapore as a “high-risk” destination would impact
travel negotiations with nations such as Australia.To that, Mr Ong said: “I think they are reflecting the fact that we are going through a big wave … But there's a lot of goodwill between these partners, not just Germany and US, but also Australia.”
“At some point (infections) will stabilise, (they) will come down. And we all want to work together, maintain our connections, our people-to-people exchanges. Read more: CNA »
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