On 11 Mar 2020, the World Health Organisation declares Covid-19 a pandemic.
One day later, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took to the stage to talk about the current Covid-19 situation.
While Singapore has dealt relatively well with our own Covid-19 situation, Europe’s situation is the exact opposite.
The number of Covid-19 cases in European countries has soared drastically.
Outside of China and a cruise ship, 6 of the top 10 countries with the most number of COVID-19 infections are in Europe.
It got so bad that even the US has imposed travel restrictions against them.
S’pore’s New Border Restrictions
In Singapore, new visitors who have been to the following countries within the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore:
The travel ban will take effect from 15 Mar 2020 at 2359 hours.
As for Singaporeans and long-term pass holders with recent travel history to these countries, they will be issued with a 14-day Stay-Home-Notice (SHN).
These are on top of the current measures that are in place.
Singaporeans are also advised to cancel or postpone non-essential travel to these countries.
If you’re travelling, remember to take extra care when you visit countries affected by Covid-19.
As travel restrictions in Singapore are constantly changing, please bookmark MOH’s website to keep up to date on what’s going on.
Travellers To Be Treated As Possible Covid-19 Cases No Matter Where They Came From
From 4 Mar 2020 onwards, all travellers coming to Singapore, regardless of where they travelled from, will be subjected to the Covid-19 swap test if they show any symptoms.
They will also be issued with a 14-day SHN.
Even if their test results are negative, they will still have to fulfil the SHN in full.
By the way, Stay-Home-Notices are serious matters and people have lost their passes before.
Port calls for cruises in Singapore will be stopped as well.
And it’s not just the checkpoints.
New Social Distancing Measures
Besides the checkpoints, the government is also introducing new social distancing measures to try and mitigate the spread of Covid-19 within the country.
Events & Gatherings
Previously, Singapore has advised for all large gatherings or events to be postponed or cancelled.
If the organisers want to continue, they had to show that they’ve taken the proper precautions.
But this has now changed.
On 13 Mar 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) introduces the new social distancing measures put in place.
All ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events with more than 250 participants must be postponed or cancelled.
As for mass gatherings including private functions and religious services, organises are asked to take the following precautions:
- Reduce the scale of the event to less than 250 participants (if possible)
- Improve ventilation and reduce crowding
- Have temperature and health screening measures
- Have a system that can facilitate contact tracing
- Remind participants to be socially responsible.
Employers are advised to stagger their employees’ working hours, allow them to work from home (if possible) and space seating arrangements apart.
Owners are advised to keep their customers from coming into close contacts.
One possible way (for restaurant owners) is to space the tables and chairs at least 1-metre apart.
Businesses are also advised to limit the number of customers in the venue at any point in time.
It’s Not Things Getting Worst, It’s S’pore Getting Prepared
Now, if you’re scared by all the measures and wondering if Singapore is going to sink tomorrow, it’s probably because you didn’t listen to the speech by our handsome Mr Lee.
Covid-19 was declared a pandemic because it has spread across the entire world and the number of cases outside China has multiplied by ten.
This means that Singapore will see an increase in the number of Covid-19 import cases in the near future.
Instead of sitting around and waiting for it to strike, Singapore is preparing itself to mitigate the inevitable cases.
In other words, sit back, relax and take a chill pill because everything is under control.
As long as we all do our part lah, that is.