Many Scoot customers were surprised to find urgent emails from the airline informing them that they would need to get Negative COVID-19 certificate as part of the requirement of their flight TR100 from Singapore to Guangzhou, China departing on 30 August at 5.15 am.
The odd thing is that many of these customers did not book a flight with Scoot to fly to China.
Blogger and head of content strategy at advertising firm Tribal Worldwide Singapore, Mr Benjamin Lee, shared on Facebook today (25 August) a screenshot of this email he received with the subject line that said, “Urgent: Negative COVID-19 certificate required for your flight to Guangzhou”.
The comments section of the post was filled with various netizens noting that they, too, had received similar emails from Scoot for the same flight which they were not on.
Thomas Lim shared that he received 20 of these emails from Scoot, all saying the same thing, while Sandra Chan shared a screenshot of her inbox showing the emails.
Several people also wondered if the Scoot system was hacked somehow, resulting in this issue.
However, a Scoot spokesperson said that the email was meant for passengers booked on the TR100 flight but it was “mistakenly sent to other customers who were not on the flight,” adding that the matter is being investigated. Scoot said it will provide an update on the findings when possible.
The spokesperson added, “For now, it has been established that there was no data breach or leak of personal information. Scoot sincerely apologises for this oversight and our highest priority is establishing what transpired and rectifying the errors.”
Singapore has exported at least 40 cases of COVID-19 to China recently
Just last week (19 August), we noted that Singapore has exported at least 40 cases of COVID-19 to China so far, according to local news reports there.
Going through some of the provincial health commission websites of China, it is found that since Singapore’s National day last week (9 Aug), the number of exported COVID-19 cases from Singapore to China has been increasing. Most seem to be Chinese workers working in Singapore returning back to China, as reported in the Chinese news.
Specifically, an article was circulating on Chinese social media app, Weixin, reporting that a Scoot flight (TR138) from Singapore imported 12 COVID-19 cases into Tianjin, China.
In the article, the 12 cases are said to be all males, aged between 39 to 51, who work in the construction sector in Singapore. Upon arriving in Tianjin Binhai International Airport, their body temperatures were recorded within the normal range between 36.3°C to 36.5°C. 11 of them were declared without any COVID-19-related symptoms, while a 43-year-old was reported to have blocked nose and decreased in sense of smell.
However, nucleic acid tests that were performed upon arrival showed that they were COVID-19 positive, and subsequently categorised as asymptomatic cases.
They were then isolated at local hospitals.
So that certainly explains the reason behind the requirement of a Negative COVID-19 test for travellers to China from Singapore.