SINGAPORE: The new border restrictions on travellers including those from Asean do not include Singapore’s sea and land crossings with Malaysia, meaning Malaysians and Singaporeans can commute from both sides as usual.
Singapore’s Co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on Covid-19, Lawrence Wong, said while the order applies to the whole of Asean, a separate arrangement has been worked out for Malaysia through the bilateral joint working group.
Special considerations have been put in for Malaysia because of the close proximity and high interdependency between both countries.
“We do need precautions to be taken, given the high volume of people and vehicles moving in and out of these checkpoints,” he said today when announcing the additional measures that Singapore would be taking on the Covid-19 situation starting midnight on Monday.
Effective March 16, 2020, 2359 hours, all travellers entering Singapore with recent travel history to Asean countries, Japan, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom within the last 14 days will be issued with a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
Wong, who is also the National Development Minister, said that on land crossing alone 200,000 people move across the checkpoints daily and the imposition of a 14-day SHN requirement would be very difficult and very disruptive for both countries.
“So the 14-day requirement will not be practical for these travellers and we need to look at other precaution like checking their health. So discussions are ongoing between the two sides,” he said.
The latest travel order applies to Singapore residents, long-term pass holders, and short-term visitors as well but not those transiting in Singapore without leaving the transit area.
In addition, they will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.
They may also be swabbed for testing for Covid-19, even if asymptomatic because of the risk of community transmission in the countries of their origin and evidence of cases that have been imported from these countries into Singapore.
In addition to the SHN requirement, from March 16, 2020, 2359 hours, all short-term visitors who are nationals of any Asean country will have to submit requisite information on their health to the Singapore Overseas Mission in the country they are resident before their intended date of travel.
The submission will have to be approved by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) before travel to Singapore, and the approval will be verified by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the Singapore checkpoints.
Short-term visitors who arrive in Singapore without the necessary approval will be denied entry into Singapore and they are therefore advised to secure the approval before making definitive travel bookings. — Bernama