Singapore tightens traveller testing

Singapore tightens traveller testing

Arrivals will have to take antigen test every day for 7 days as city-state prepares for Omicron

Passengers from Amsterdam arrive at Changi Airport under Singapore’s expanded Vaccinated Travel Lane quarantine-free travel scheme in October. (Reuters File Photo)
Passengers from Amsterdam arrive at Changi Airport under Singapore’s expanded Vaccinated Travel Lane quarantine-free travel scheme in October. (Reuters File Photo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore will require additional testing for travellers and extend travel curbs to more African countries, as it rolls out more measures to allow it time to figure out how to deal with the Omicron coronavirus variant.

All travellers on its Vaccinated Travel Lanes will be required to be tested every day for seven days using self-administered rapid test kits, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.

The measure, coming into effect from Dec 7, is on top of the on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for air travellers, as well as supervised rapid testing at test centres on days three and seven after arrival. 

In addition, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the country, or transit through the city-state, starting from Monday, a ministry statement said. 

“Should the Omicron variant be more transmissible than delta and become the globally dominant variant over time, it is a matter of time before it establishes itself in Singapore,” said the statement. It said the extra measures will help to “buy time” to learn more about dealing with Omicron, and to continue with its booster programme.

The government needs to remain “nimble” in its responses, and said it will need to introduce or change its measures at short notice, reacting to the fluid situation.

The enhanced testing regime will also apply to vaccinated land travellers coming from Malaysia from Dec 7.

As well, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and Poland will be subject to so-called Category III travel health curbs from Dec 7, where travellers need to do a 10-day quarantine at home or in a hotel.


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