S'pore to bar visitors from Italy, France, Germany and Spain
All new visitors who had been to Italy, France, Spain and Germany within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry or transit into Singapore from Sunday (March 15), 11.59pm
Visitors with travel history to Italy, France, Spain, and Germany will no longer be allowed to enter or transit in Singapore, the Ministry of Health said today.
This will kick in at 11.59pm on Sunday (March 15) for all new visitors who have been to these four countries in the last two weeks.
Singaporeans are also advised to defer non-essential travel to these European countries in light of the increasing number of cases there.
This is on top of the current travel advisories to defer all travel Hubei province in China, and non-essential travel to the rest of mainland China, Iran, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
At a press conference on Friday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said: “Despite our best efforts at contact tracing to ring-fence confirmed cases, we still see new cases every day, and increasingly more imported cases.”
As of Thurday (March 12), there were 47 imported cases, about a quarter of the total number of cases in Singapore.
Nearly a third of the cases over the past 10 days were imported cases.
All visitors entering Singapore with fever or symptoms with respiratory illness will also be issued a 14-day stay home notice (SHN), even if their swab test result is negative.
Since March 4, all such visitors are required to undergo a swab test at the checkpoint regardless of travel history.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said: “A swab test that is negative at the point of test may not be sufficient assurance because that person who is already exhibiting some symptoms — be it fever or respiratory symptoms — may be just going through the incubation stage of the virus, so the swab test may well be negative.
“You do not know whether later on, the viral load may go up, and that’s why we want to take extra precautions and impose this full 14-day requirement for all such visitors.”
Residents and long-term pass holders with recent travel history to the four European countries in the last 14 days will be placed on SHN as well.
The Health Ministry also advised Singaporeans to exercise caution when travelling to all countries affected by the Covid-19, especially those which have exported cases, such as Germany, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, all of which have exported cases to Singapore.
Mr Wong, who is also the co-chair of the multi-ministry task force set up to tackle the Covid-19, said: “We are concerned about countries where there are few reported cases of the virus, but where we already see exported cases from these countries.
“And that includes countries around us. For example, we’ve had so far six imported cases from Indonesia and two from Malaysia due to the recent event.”
He added that the number of cases from the event may continue to rise because contact tracing for the attendees at the religious event, where some have already have tested positive, is still ongoing.
Singapore will also cease port calls for all cruise vessels.
Those who have made plans to travel during the upcoming March school holidays are also advised to review their plans based on the latest travel advisories, the health ministry said.
Mr Wong added that the Government had deliberated over the latest border control measures for “quite a while”, and had also consulted with experts before coming to a decision.
“If we all do this, all of us doing our part — Government, employers, organisations and individuals — we can overcome the challenge and we can slow down the spread of the virus in Singapore.”