Singapore’s multi-ministry COVID-19 taskforce on Saturday (16 January) announced new border control measures and a travel insurance requirement in a bid to manage the risk of importation of COVID-19, following the global resurgence of new positive cases of the virus.
On-arrival testing for travellers
Travellers who are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents (PRs), and who have recent travel history to high-risk countries or regions, are required to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement.
With effect from 24 January at 11.59 pm, all travellers — including Singapore citizens and PRs — will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arriving in Singapore.
The prevailing Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements, including the PCR test at the end of the SHN, will continue.
Further precautions for travellers from the United Kingdom, South Africa
Restrictions on entry and transit were earlier imposed for all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to the United Kingdom and South Africa. This arose from concerns of a more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus spreading in these countries.
As a further precaution, with effect from 18 January at 11.59 pm, all returning Singapore citizens and PRs returning from the UK and South Africa will be subject to an additional 7-day self-isolation at their place of residence after their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities until further notice, said MOH.
Returnees from the UK and South Africa will be tested at the end of their SHN as per the current requirement, and re-tested after they have completed their 7-day self-isolation period. These further precautions will apply to travellers who are currently serving their SHN.
Travellers are strongly encouraged to register and pre-pay for their on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test on the SafeTravel website prior to departing for Singapore at to expedite the COVID-19 PCR test at the airport.
Short-term visitors under ATP, RGL required to have travel insurance for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs
Currently, short-term visitors entering Singapore under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) and Reciprocal Green Lanes (RGLs) are required to bear the full costs of medical treatment, should they be suspected of being infected with COVID-19 or require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore.
With effect from 31 January at 11.59 pm, visitors applying to enter Singapore under the ATP and RGLs will be required to have travel insurance for their COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000, said MOH.
The travel insurance can be purchased from Singapore-based or overseas insurers. A list of available insurance products can be found on the SafeTravel website, said the Ministry.
Travellers are advised to visit the SafeTravel website for further updates on border control measures before entering Singapore and must be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including payment for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities, tests and treatment, said MOH.