Singapore has recently announced that travellers from six countries that were previously closed off to Singapore will now be able to enter the country starting Wednesday, October 27th. The six countries are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health, travellers with a 14-day (or more) travel history to these countries will now be able to enter or transit through Singapore. However, travellers will still be subjected to a strict 10-day stay home notice (SHN) period at a dedicated facility.
Singapore’s Health Minister One Ye Kung informed in a virtual press conference last weekend that the Ministry has reviewed the Covid-19 cases of these countries for some time and noted that the situation in these countries has stabilised for some time. Hence the Ministry has decided to loosen up some rules which had previously prevented travellers from these countries to land in Singapore.
Good news for Malaysian and Indonesian travellers too since Singapore’s MOH has also informed that they would be easing off strict measures to these countries, including several others. Singapore has classified countries and regions into four different categories based on the seriousness of Covid-19 cases in those countries or regions. Malaysia was previously under Category IV, however, under the latest circumstances, Malaysia will now be placed in Category III along with other countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Mongolia, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, South Africa, Tonga, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam.
From Wednesday on, travellers from Category III countries will be able to complete their 10-day SHN at their own declared place of residence or accommodation, regardless of the travellers’ or the household members’ vaccination status and travel history. Travellers are also no longer required to take the on-arrival PCR test but will only have to take the exit PCR test at the end of their 10-day SHN. This is great news especially since the current compulsory 10-day SHN at a dedicated facility can rake up to more than a thousand dollars. Also, a great way to meet and stay with the family after the many long months of lockdown and closed borders.
Under these new regulations too, travellers from countries under Category I like Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China and Taiwan as well as travellers from countries under Category II on Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights will only need to take a PCR test on arrival. Travellers from Category II countries that are not with the VTL flights will no longer need to undergo an on-arrival PCR test. However, an exit PCR test at the end of their 7-day SHN is required.
So far, Singapore has managed to keep its infection numbers low because of its strict rules and regulations. Travellers had been required to do a PCR test a few days before departure, an on-arrival PCR test and another PCR test at the end of their SHN period but with new categories and looser rules, Singapore might be seeing a higher number of travellers into its country.
Malaysia’s Tourism Minister, Nancy Shukri recently informed in a virtual interview that the Tourism Ministry has proposed to the government to allow vaccinated international tourists into the island resort of Langkawi starting next month. At the same time, she also said that Malaysia and Singapore are currently discussing opening borders through a dedicated travel lane for vaccinated travellers. She is hoping to open the borders to more travellers from around the world by the end of the year, provided they are fully vaccinated. Malaysia is still planning on measurements and regulations to put out if this open border is made possible.
Aliza M. is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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