Singapore starts mandatory testing of travellers upon arrival for Covid-19

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All travellers, including Singaporeans and permanent residents, will need to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced. This will take effect from 24 January as part of tighter border measures to manage the risk of imported COVID-19 cases.

Singapore has seen an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, mostly imported or those arriving from other countries. The ministry confirmed four coronavirus cases from the community (or local), one from the dormitories for foreign here and 19 imported cases.

Currently, travellers who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents and who have a recent travel history to high-risk countries or regions are required to take a PCR test within 72 hours before departure. They are then tested again at the end of their stay-home notice period.

In a media release, the ministry noted the emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the worsening coronavirus situation around the world. “The multi-ministry task force regularly reviews Singapore’s border measures to manage the risk of importation and onward local transmission from travellers. Given the resurgence of COVID-19 cases around the world, we will be putting in place more stringent measures for travellers to manage the risk of importation,” it said.

The ministry also announced that all Singaporeans and permanent residents returning from the UK and South Africa will be subject to an additional seven days of self-isolation at their place of residence, following their 14-day stay-home notice period at dedicated facilities. This took effect from 18 January.

With effect from 31 January, visitors applying to enter Singapore under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) and Reciprocal Green Lanes (RGLs) will need to have travel insurance for their COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore, with a minimum coverage of SGD 30,000 (USD 22573).

“The travel insurance will help them pay for the costs of their medical treatment in Singapore. The visitors can purchase the travel insurance from Singapore-based or overseas insurers,” said the Ministry.

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