Singapore to bar recent visitors to China

Singapore to bar recent visitors to China

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk through the Chinatown area of Singapore on Friday. (Bloomberg photo)
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk through the Chinatown area of Singapore on Friday. (Bloomberg photo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore said on Friday it was suspending entry to travellers with a recent history of travel to China and suspending visas for Chinese passport holders, to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban, effective from Saturday, will exempt Singaporean residents and work permit holders, the Health Ministry said, adding that it also will apply to those transiting through Singapore, a busy global travel hub.

The visa suspension will come into effect immediately so travellers can be informed in advance, while the travel restriction will start on Saturday night at 11.59pm (10.59pm Thai time), the South China Morning Post reported.

The island nation has China as one of its biggest trading partners and is a popular destination for Chinese tourists. Figures from the Singapore Tourism Board showed that 248,000 travellers from mainland China entered Singapore last November, while 3.42 million mainland Chinese tourists visited in 2018.

As of Friday, Singapore has 13 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, all of whom are travellers from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Health authorities have stressed that there is no evidence of community spread within the city state as of now.

Do you like the content of this article?

Thailand confirms return of Iranians held over 2012 bomb plot

Thailand confirmed on Thursday it had returned three Iranians jailed over a 2012 bomb plot in Bangkok, in an announcement that came after Tehran freed an Australian-British lecturer imprisoned for alleged spying.


Malaysia leader wins budget vote

Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin survived a key test of his leadership on Thursday when he won enough support in parliament for his 2021 budget.


B40bn high-speed train contracts inked

The State Railway of Thailand on Thursday signed five more contracts, worth about 40 billion baht, for work on the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima.