Most of the travelling we did in 2020 was from our houses to the supermarkets, to buy toilet paper for the next few years.
Sadly, nothing much has changed in 2021, as leisure travel is still a distant dream.
You might have noticed an increase in the number of imported cases recently, which may be a result of the country relaxing some border restrictions.
And with a new, more infectious variant of the coronvirus spreading around the world and global infections continuing to rise, the authorities are taking precautionary steps to manage the risk of importation.
All Travellers to Take Covid-19 Tests Upon Arrival
Soon, all of us will have to get a swab shoved up our noses if we’re arriving from abroad.
All travellers, including Singaporeans and PRs, will need to take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Saturday (16 Jan).
This will take effect from 11.59pm on 24 Jan.
The ministry noted the resurgence of Covid-19 infections globally, and said it would be introducing stringent measures to manage the risk of importation.
The prevailing stay-home notice requirements, including the PCR test at the end of the SHN, will continue to be in place, MOH said.
Travellers are “strongly encouraged” to register and pre-pay for their on-arrival Covid-19 PCR test before departing for Singapore.
Precautionary Measures For Travellers From UK & South Africa
As you probably know, variants of the coronavirus were discovered in the UK and South Africa last year.
This is why Singapore earlier restricted entry and transit for all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to the UK and South Africa.
As a further precaution, from 18 January 2021, until further notice, all returning citizens and PRs from the UK and South Africa will be subject to an additional 7-day self-isolation at their place of residence, following their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
This means that they will have to be isolated for a total of three weeks upon arrival here.
An intense period of Netflix and Chill without the chill will likely be required.
“The returnees from the UK and South Africa will be tested at the end of their SHN and again after they have completed their 7-day self-isolation period”, MOH said.
“These further precautions will apply to travellers who are currently serving their SHN.”
Some Visitors Required to Have Insurance Coverage
At the moment, short-term visitors entering Singapore under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) and Reciprocal Green Lanes (RGLs) are required to bear the full cost of their medical treatment, if they test positive for Covid-19 while in Singapore.
However, from 31 Jan, visitors under these arrangements will need to have travel insurance for their Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore.
Their insurance package must come with a minimum coverage of S$30,000.
“The travel insurance will help them pay for the costs of their medical treatment in Singapore” MOH said.
“The visitors can purchase the travel insurance from Singapore-based or overseas insurers”.
The ministry also provided a list of available insurance products at the SafeTravel website.
MOH said it will continue to adjust Singapore’s border measures as the global Covid-19 situation evolves.
“The Ministry of Health will also continue to review the data and evidence on any new viral strains and update the measures accordingly,” it said.
Featured Image: Nawadoln / Shutterstock.com