From 1 September 2020, Singapore will allow general travel to and from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand, as well as travel for overseas studies, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced on Friday (21 August). 

Additionally, effective the same day, travellers from low-risk regions/countries will only have to undergo a seven-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN), down from the usual 14 days.

These key updates are summarised below.

What visitors entering Singapore from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand should note

As Singapore transitions towards lifiting its border restrictions for low-risk countries, it will first start by allowing entry from both Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand.

Travellers from both countries who have remained there in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entering Singapore will not be required to serve any SHN. Instead, they will undergo a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival, and will only be allowed to go about their activities after receiving a negative test result.

Prior to their travel, visitors from these two countries will have to apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) seven to 30 days before their intended date of entry. Application for this pass will begin from 1 September 2020 for travel from 8 September 2020; more details will be provided by the Ministry of Transport next week.

At the same time, returning Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-term Pass holders will no longer have to serve any SHN and will instead undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival; no ATP is required.

SHN duration will be reduced for low-risk countries including Malaysia and Vietnam

Travellers from Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia (excluding Victoria State), Macao, Mainland China, and Taiwan will only need to serve seven days of SHN upon arrival in Singapore, also effective 1 September. This group will also have to undergo a COVID-19 test in Singapore, which will be administered before the end of the seven days. 

While this is so, all other incoming travellers will continue to serve their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities, and will be subject to a test before it end. Existing travel conditions will continue to apply, as well as conditions under specific travel arrangements such as the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

Updated travel advisory to take effect from 1 September 2020

In light of the border restrictions being lifted for both Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand, Singapore's travel advisory will now be updated to allow general travel to both countries. Travellers are advised to check the entry requirements imposed by these countries, and to take the necessary precautionary measures.

Apart from the above, the updated travel advisory will allow travel for students pursuing their studies overseas, and where distance learning is not offered as an option by the education institution. 

Meanwhile, Singaporeans and residents are advised to defer all other forms of travel overseas; essential travel for business, official and work purposes will continue to be permitted under the RGL and PCA.

All travellers will still be subject to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including payment for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities and tests, where applicable. Those who have complied with the travel advisories will be eligible for Government subsidies, and MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plan (IP) coverage for their COVID-19 treatment, should they have onset of symptoms within 14 days of their return to Singapore and require hospital admission for suspected COVID-19 infection.


Apart from the border measures, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has also released a set of updates on community measures.

Outdoor exercises classes to resume from 1 September 2020

Effective 1 September, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will will expand the list of public facilities where outdoor exercises classes can be held to include more open spaces at SportSG sport centres, parks, and HDB common areas.

These classes must be organised by an instructor who will be responsible for ensuring that the safe management measures are put in place and adhered to, including temperature and symptoms screening, safe distancing, and maintaining a list of participants in venues where SafeEntry is not deployed.

The instructor must be registered to conduct these activities, and more details on the registration process will be released subsequently. Instructors and participants should follow the stipulated safe management measures as well as any other conditions stipulated by the premise owner.

General group exercises that are not organised by these instructors will continue to be capped at five persons, in addition to any conditions stipulated by the premise owner.

Safe-dining precautions at F&B outlets

Over the past few weeks, some F&B outlets have been observed to be playing extremely loud music, causing patrons to have to talk more loudly and increase the risk of droplet spread, the taskforce noted.

Thus, as an added precaution, it will tighten the rules to allow recorded music at F&B outlets to be played as soft background music only. Live music, live broadcasts (both TV and radio) as well as video screenings remain disallowed.

Photo / 123RF

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