Well, the headline sounds pretty normal until you think deeper and realise it actually means this:
Singapore has officially closed off its borders.
That sounds much more serious, isn’t it?
Here’s what happened.
S’pore is Now Barring ALL Tourists & Short-Term Visitors to S’pore from 23 March, 11:59pm
In the last three days, almost 80% of new cases were imported.
And in view of this “heightened risk of importation of COVID-19 cases”, MOH has made another drastic decision: stop all short-term visitors from entering or transiting though Singapore.
According to the ministry, this is to “conserve resources so we can focus on Singaporeans”.
Yesterday, there were still 533 short-term visitors entering Singapore, and they were all issued with a 14-day Stay-Home Notice upon arrival.
This new measure won’t affect returning Singaporeans, Singapore PRs or long-term visit pass holders (e.g. Student’s Pass, Dependant’s Pass, and Long-term Visit Pass), but it’ll affect certain returning work pass holders.
Work Pass Holders Only Allowed to Return If They Work in Essential Services
So, you might have a foreigner friend who’s in China now and works in Singapore. You guys work in a coffeeshop and it’s not exactly an essential service.
He has plans to come back to Singapore on Tuesday, and according to the previous measures, he’d have to serve a 14-day SHN once he comes back if he gets the approval from MOM.
But by right, he can still come back since he has a Singapore work pass.
According to MOH, work pass holders (like your “friend”) and their dependents will be allowed to return to Singapore only if they work in sectors that provide essential services such as healthcare and transport.
If not they can just tear their plane ticket lah.
However, for Malaysians with Singapore work pass, that would be exempted as the Singapore-Malaysia Special Working Committee has agreed that Malaysians with Singapore work permits will continue to be able to work in Singapore during this period.
This new measure came after two deaths were announced yesterday.