Singapore maintains Covid-19 measures for travellers from China

Singapore maintains Covid-19 measures for travellers from China

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Wednesday (28 Dec) that the country will maintain its prevailing Covid-19 rules towards incoming travellers from China as it prepares to reopen its borders from 8 January 2023.

There is no requirement for travellers to do any PCR testing before arriving here.

ICA only said on its website: “All other travellers aged 13 and above may enter Singapore as per normal without testing or quarantine, only if they have taken minimum WHO-EUL vaccine dosage.”

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, will need to undergo pre-departure tests,

Short-term visitors are also required to purchase insurance for Covid-related medical expenses.

MOH states that the prevailing border measures and vaccination requirements for travellers and work pass holders arriving from China remain unchanged.

It added that it is closely monitoring the international Covid-19 situation, and will adjust its border health measures as appropriate should the need arise.

China opens borders

Beijing said it would scrap mandatory COVID quarantine for overseas arrivals, ending almost three years of self-imposed isolation.

In a snap move late Monday (26 Dec), China said from 8 January inbound travellers would no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival, in a further unwinding of hardline COVID-19 controls that had torpedoed its economy and sparked nationwide protests.

The new rules follow China’s decision this month to roll back much of a zero-COVID regime that had mandated mass testing, strict lockdowns and long quarantines in government-run facilities.

Cases have surged nationwide following that easing, in an outbreak that authorities have admitted is now “impossible” to track.

And in the face of mounting concerns that the country’s wave of infections is not being accurately reflected in official statistics, Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) Saturday said it would no longer publish daily tallies of the number of cases.

That followed a decision last week to narrow the criteria by which COVID-19 fatalities were counted — a move experts said would suppress the number of deaths attributable to the virus.

Japan and India announce PCR tests for Chinese travellers

Japan announced on Tuesday (27 Dec) that travellers from China will now be required to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in Japan due to the rapid spread of the virus in the country.

Travellers from China who test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days. The new border measures will go into effect from midnight in Japan on 30 December.

The Japanese government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China. Japan reopened its borders to tourists in October after more than two years of strict COVID curbs.

India announced on Saturday (24 Dec) that PCR tests have been made mandatory for passengers coming from China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

Passengers from these countries will now have to upload their PCR test report online before arriving in India.

Even after landing in India, they need to undergo thermal screening too.

The announcements came after China stopped publishing its daily COVID figures of cases and deaths, as COVID cases surged across multiple Chinese cities.

Chinese eager to travel as border opens

It has been reported that mainland Chinese are flocking to travel sites, even as rising infections strained the health system.

Data from the travel platform Ctrip showed that searches for popular destinations had increased 10-fold.

Data from another platform, Qunar, showed that within 15 minutes of the news of China scrapping its zero-COVID policy, searches for international flights jumped seven-fold.

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