These tighter measures follow the emergence of new virus variants and the worsening COVID-19 situation around the world, and include an extended 7-day self isolation for returnees from the UK and South Africa.  

Following the emergence of new virus variants and the worsening COVID-19 situation around the world, Singapore will introduce additional border control measures for all travellers, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Saturday (16 January 2021). These measures are detailed below:

On-arrival testing will apply to all travellers from 24 January 2021

Currently, travellers who are not Singapore Citizens (SCs) or Permanent Residents (PRs) entering Singapore, with recent travel history to high-risk countries/ regions, are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure. These travellers are then required to serve their Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore, and they are tested at the end of their SHN.

Effective 24 January, 2359 hours, this requirement will apply to all travellers including SCs and PRs, upon their arrival in Singapore.

The prevailing SHN requirements, including the PCR test at the end of the SHN, will continue.

UK and South Africa returnees to serve an additional 7-day isolation from 18 January

As a further precaution following concerns of a more contagious COVID-19 variant circulating in the UK and South Africa, from 18 January 2021, 2359 hours, until further notice, all returning SCs and PRs from both countries will be subject to an additional seven-day self-isolation at their place of residence, after their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.

These returnees will be tested at the end of their SHN (as per the current requirement), and again after they have completed their seven-day self-isolation period.

These further precautions will apply to travellers who are currently serving their SHN. 

New travel insurance requirements for travellers under the ATP and RGL

Short-term visitors entering Singapore under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) and Reciprocal Green Lanes (RGLs) are currently required to bear the full costs of medical treatment, should they be suspected of being infected with COVID-19 or require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore.

Effective 31 January 2021, 2359 hours, visitors applying to enter Singapore under the ATP and RGLs will need to have travel insurance for their COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000.

The travel insurance will help them pay for the costs of their medical treatment in Singapore. Visitors can purchase the travel insurance from Singapore-based or overseas insurers, and a list of available insurance products can be found on the SafeTravel website.

In light of the above measures, the MOH noted: "As the global situation evolves, we will continue to adjust our border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community. The Ministry of Health will also continue to review the data and evidence on any new viral strains and update the measures accordingly."

The Ministry also shared that any changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Travellers are advised to visit the website to check for the most updated border measures before entering Singapore and be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including payment for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities, tests and treatment.

To expedite the COVID-19 PCR test at the airport, travellers are strongly encouraged to register and pre-pay for their on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test prior to departing for Singapore, on the portal

Photo / 123RF

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