All travellers from mainland China and the state of Victoria in Australia will be allowed to enter Singapore from 6 November and will not be quarantined if they test negative for COVID-19 on arrival, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a statement on Thursday (29 October).
CAAS said yesterday that visitors from China and Victoria will be required to undergo a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test on arrival and they will not have to serve a stay-home notice (SHN) if their test result comes out negative.
The test results will be out within 48 hours, and typically within 12 hours.
This also applies to Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents (PRs) and Long-Term Pass holders returning from these places.
CAAS reassured that both China and Australia’s Victoria state have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and displayed successful control over the spread of COVID-19 virus.
“Over the past 28 days, mainland China and Victoria state (Australia) have a virus local incidence rate of 0.00009 and 0.099 per 100,000 respectively. The risk of importation from these places is low,” it added.
According to CAAS, visitors travelling from China and Victoria can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) to enter Singapore from 30 October onward, for entry on or after 6 November.
Applicants must have stayed in China or Australia in the last 14 consecutive days before entering the city-state, it added.
Additionally, visitors are required to download and register for the TraceTogether app on their mobile devices before departing for Singapore. They must keep it activated during their stay in Singapore, and not remove it for 14 consecutive days after leaving.
Singapore had previously announced such unilateral opening of borders to travellers from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and all other parts of Australia – except the state of Victoria.
About 1,375 applications from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia – excluding Victoria – had been approved by the CAAS as of 12 pm on Thursday (29 Oct). CAAS claimed that none of the visitors tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.
“Accepting them [visitors from China and Australia’s Victoria state] into Singapore is no different from asking Jurong residents to go to Bedok, it’s just similar risk profile,” said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung in an interview with The Straits Times on Thursday.
Mr Ong hinted that he does not expect the number of visitors to be high due to the outbound travel restrictions in both countries.
Netizens criticise Govt for allegedly being ‘lenient’ for allowing visitors to enter with no quarantine if COVID-19 test negative
Penning their thoughts under CNA, Mothership and The Straits Times‘ Facebook posts, netizens said that the Singapore Government is being “lenient” by allowing visitors to enter the city-state without serving a SHN if they test negative for the COVID-19 virus.
Some netizens also highlighted that the Government is opening borders for other countries when Singapore’s daily COVID-19 cases are mostly imported cases.
Others questioned the Government’s move to open borders for countries with outbound travel restrictions such as Australia, as the visitors are still unable to leave their countries.