All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to the United Kingdom in the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter Singapore or transit through Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (22 December).
The ban will come into force from 23 December at 11.59 pm until further notice.
The new regulation comes after recent reports of a potentially more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus spreading in the UK.
“Officials within the UK are also concerned about this new virus and have put in place more stringent restrictions, including imposing a new lockdown in London,” said MOH, stressing that the Singapore Government’s temporary ban on travel from the UK is targeted at reducing the risk of the new strain being imported to Singapore.
The ban will also apply to those who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.
Returning Singapore citizens and permanent residents will be required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Singapore at the start of their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN).
While MOH notes that the strain “has been suggested to be more transmissible”, currently there is “insufficient evidence” to determine if this strain is associated with any change in disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy.
“These aspects are being investigated by the UK authorities. The Ministry of Health will evaluate the data as it emerges and review our border measures accordingly,” said MOH.
Travellers with travel history to the UK within 14 days prior to departure to Singapore are currently required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
Travellers who are not Singapore citizens or PRs are also required to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure and present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter Singapore.
Singapore will be joining a slew of other countries that have taken or are taking measures to limit or halt travel from the UK following the emergence of the new coronavirus strain.
Tighter border controls for travellers with recent history to New South Wales
Border control measures will be tightened for those with recent travel history in the past 14 days to New South Wales, following a surge in cases in the Australian state.
From 23 December at 11.59 pm, said MOH, short-term travellers holding an Air Travel Pass with travel history to NSW within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore will not be allowed to enter Singapore.
All travellers departing from Australia will be required to declare their travel history at airline check-in prior to their flight to Singapore.
Singapore citizens, PRs and long-term pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to NSW within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore will be subject to a 7-day SHN at their place of residence with a COVID-19 PCR test before the end of the SHN period.
All other travellers departing from Australia who have been in Australia, excluding NSW, in the last 14 days prior to travel will continue to be subject to a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport in lieu of their SHN.