The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Mon (12 Oct) that travellers who have recent travel history to Indonesia or the Philippines, and who are not Singapore Citizens or PRs, will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter or transfer through Singapore. This will take effect from next Mon (19 Oct).
“To reduce the importation of cases from Indonesia and the Philippines, travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents and who have recent travel history to Indonesia or the Philippines within the last 14 days prior to entry will be required to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure,” MOH said.
“Travellers will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter or transfer through Singapore. This requirement will take effect for those arriving in or transferring through Singapore from 19 October 2020, 2359 hours.”
Travellers from Indonesia and the Philippines entering Singapore will also need to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities and to take a negative COVID-19 test before the end of their SHN.
In addition, for those Work Pass and Dependant’s Pass holders, ICA said that they must also obtain permission from Manpower Ministry (MOM) before they are allowed to come back to Singapore to work and stay. Their employers or sponsors must apply to MOM on their behalf.
Those who fail to comply with the requirements may have their passes cancelled and barred from entry into Singapore, ICA added.
Infected Filipino workers returning to Singapore triggers MOH to act
In an interview on Tues (13 Oct), the Philippine consul general Adrian Candolada based in Singapore told reporters that the new COVID-19 test requirement imposed upon travellers from the Philippines came about after 11 more Filipinos were tested positive for the coronavirus when they arrived in Singapore.
Candolada said that 11 of the 27 COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore from October 9 to 11 were Filipinos, mostly workers returning from the Philippines. “Majority of the cases among Filipinos are workers based in Singapore, they went home to the Philippines, when they came back, they tested positive for COVID-19,” he said.
Due to these newly-reported cases among Filipinos, Candolada said travellers coming from the Philippines will now be required to present a pre-departure coronavirus test showing that they are free of the virus.
“Like Indonesia and India, we are now on the list of countries where a pre-departure test before entering Singapore is required,” he added.
Fake COVID-19 documents surfacing in Philippines
In any case, fake COVID-19 documents have already surfaced in the Philippines.
Three month ago (Jul), the Philippine authorities announced that they had arrested two women for selling falsified COVID-19 test results at a computer shop in Caloocan City near Manila.
“We had an entrapment operation. There is one police officer who needed a rapid anti-body test and for PHP500 (S$14), he got the results,” said a Philippine official.
The operation stemmed from a viral Facebook post where a netizen said that while waiting for her turn at the shop, she saw a female employee change the name on the supposed rapid test result certificate through Photoshop. The employee printed out the fake COVID-19 document and gave it to another customer.
“We have identified the clinic, it is One-rad Medical and X-ray Clinic, and through our coordination with them, we found out that they were apprehensive because this might affect their services but they said they will cooperate with us,” the official added.
Seized from the shop were two desktop computers with hard drives, two printers, one photocopying machine, one scanner, assorted receipts, and other computer equipment.