Singapore to Require Vaccinations for Foreigners Working in City
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore will require foreigners seeking to work, study or reside in the country to be vaccinated, as the business hub tightens some restrictions to prepare for an “inevitable” omicron wave.
From Feb. 1, applicants who wish to work on a long-term basis or permanently live in the city-state, as well as those looking to renew existing employment visas, will have to be inoculated against Covid-19, the health ministry said in a statement Sunday. Exemptions will be granted for children below 12 and those medically ineligible for the shots.
This latest move adds to measures in recent months to put pressure on those who have opted not to get jabbed -- they’re already barred from most public spaces including restaurants, attractions and malls, and required to foot their own medical bills. Authorities are expecting more omicron infections than for delta, and a “rapid doubling of cases” in coming days and weeks.
“Given the transmissibility of omicron and the open nature of our society, it is inevitable that omicron will spread in our community,” said the Ministry of Health.
Still, the ministry sees proportionately fewer severe cases or deaths than delta, due to the lower severity of the new variant and protection from vaccinations and boosters. Health ministry data shows that 104 new omicron cases were detected on Sunday, out of which 73 were imported and 31 were local.
A concession allowing the unvaccinated to return to places of employment by undergoing a Covid-19 test will also be scrapped from Jan. 15, as part of measures “to bolster our protection against a large wave of cases locally and to keep our workplaces safe,” according to the statement.
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