The updated border measures will apply to travellers from all parts of Malaysia and Japan, including under the Reciprocal Green Lane; meanwhile, the launch of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble has been postponed for two weeks, given the "evolving COVID-19 situation" in Hong Kong.

Effective 2359 hours on Sunday, 22 November 2020, travellers, with a recent travel history to Malaysia will have to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities upon entering Singapore. This would also apply to those entering Singapore to work under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement, and returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore – Malaysia Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL).

Similarly, travellers who are not Singapore Citizens and PRs, entering Singapore from 27 November 2020, 2359 hours, with a travel history in the past 14 days to Malaysia (including transit) will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before departure. They will then need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter Singapore. 

This requirement will not apply for returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore – Malaysia RGL. In a statement on 20 November (Friday), Singapore's Multi-Ministry Taskforce said the tightened border measures come following the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia.

Earlier on in September, Malaysia was placed on the list of low-risk countries for travel to Singapore, and travellers only had to undergo a seven-day SHN, down from the usual 14 days. However, in October, these measures were updated to exclude travellers arriving from or transiting through Sabah, who had to serve the 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities. 

Apart from the above, due to a sharp increase in cases in Japan in the past week, effective 2359 hours on 22 November 2020, all travellers entering Singapore with a recent travel history to Japan in the past 14 days will be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.

These travellers will no longer be able to opt out of dedicated SHN facilities and serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence, even if they have obtained approval to opt out earlier. The 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities also applies to returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore – Japan RGL.

This is revised from the Taskforce's earlier announcement on 27 October 2020 that travellers from Japan were allowed to opt out of serving their 14-day SHN at a dedicated SHN facility if they had a suitable place of residence.

Meanwhile, travellers from Fiji, Finland, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey will continue to be allowed to apply to opt out of dedicated SHN facilities and serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence, if they fulfil the following criteria:

  • Travelled to no other country/ region than above-mentioned countries, in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry; and
  • Are occupying their place of residence (i.e. residential address) alone, or only with household members who are also persons serving SHN with the same travel history and duration of SHN.

The COVID-19 tests will continue to be administered before the end of the SHN.

Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble postponed, additional precautionary measures put in place

In similar travel news, given the evolving COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, Singapore's Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung has announced that the launch of the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) flights will be deferred by two weeks. This decision was reached following a discussion between Minister Ong and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Edward Yau, earlier today, in efforts to safeguard public health in both cities as well as travellers’ own health.

In a press statement on Sunday (22 November), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said both countries will review the new launch date of the ATB flights within two weeks, and will provide an update at a later date.

"Travellers may still continue their journey on non-designated ATB flights. However, such travellers will be subject to the prevailing border control and health requirements of both cities. For example, Singapore residents returning from Hong Kong will be subject to a 7-day Stay-Home Notice upon entry into Singapore."

"The airlines will also be contacting affected passengers to render assistance. Passengers may also reach out to their airlines regarding their travel plans."

Photo / 123RF

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