Singapore Reviews Border Controls on Virus Reinfection Risks
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore is reviewing border controls for travelers who recovered from Covid-19, on concerns of reinfection as new virus variants emerge and global cases tick up.
The city-state will also closely monitor for re-infection of people who have previously recovered from Covid-19, the Health Ministry said in a statement published Tuesday. The announcement came after a recent case, where an individual likely contracted the virus again during a visit to India and was infectious when he returned to Singapore, the ministry said.
The Southeast Asian country, which has largely managed to contain the pandemic, is stepping up its safeguards amid new waves of virus infections in Europe and Asia. New measures include reducing border entry approvals and extending isolation measures for travelers from India amid an escalation of Covid-19 cases in that country.
Fewer entry approvals from India will be granted for non-Singapore citizens or permanent residents with immediate effect, the ministry said in another press release also published Tuesday. Starting at the end of April 22, all travelers who have recently been to India will be subjected to an extra seven days of home isolation following their 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility.
India is now the world’s second-worst hit country, lagging only the U.S., after reporting more than 200,000 daily new infections every day for the last week, and a record daily death toll of more than 2,000 on Wednesday.
At the same time, Singapore eased measures for travelers from Hong Kong, and lifted entry restrictions for travelers from the U.K. and South Africa. The government is also making it easier for people who have been fully vaccinated to travel to high-risk regions.
Travelers from Hong Kong, where vaccinations are rising and cases are dropping, will have to stay in home isolation for seven days upon arriving in Singapore starting at the end of Thursday. Previously they had to spend 14 days in a government-chosen hotel.
Singaporean long-term pass holders, which could include foreign spouses, children or parents of residents, as well as short-term visitors will now be able to enter from the U.K. and South Africa. Previously only citizens or permanent residents were allowed in. All will have to spend 14 days in a government-selected hotel and an additional seven days in home isolation.
Fully vaccinated people will be able to make “essential official” trips to higher-risk regions subject to multiple tests at their destination and seven days of self-isolation when they return to Singapore, while non-vaccinated people will have to abide by prevailing border measures.
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