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Singapore's border updates: 14-day SHN for recent travellers to Sabah, new Singapore-Indonesia RGL, and more

Singapore's border updates: 14-day SHN for recent travellers to Sabah, new Singapore-Indonesia RGL, and more

From Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 2359 hours, all travellers entering Singapore with a travel history in the past 14 days to Sabah will be required to serve a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities.

The new requirement also applies to returning Singapore-based travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), as well as Malaysian Citizens and PRs entering the country under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement.

Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) announced this in a statement on Monday (12 October), in light of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Sabah. It noted: "We are monitoring the situation across other states and federal territories closely, including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya. For now, travellers from all other parts of Malaysia (except Sabah), will continue to serve a 7-day SHN at their place of residence."

Apart from the above, the MOH also announced further border updates, including compulsory pre-departure tests for travellers from Indonesia and the Philippines, reduced SHN for travellers from Hong Kong, and the resumption of the visa regime.

At the same time, Singapore and Indonesia have announced a Reciprocal Green Lane/Travel Corridor Arrangement to take place soon.

These are detailed below.

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Travellers from Indonesia and the Philippines to take pre-departure tests from 2359 on 19 Oct

To reduce the importation of cases from these countries, non-Singapore Citizens or PRs and who have recent travel history to either country within the last 14 days prior to entry will be required to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction PCR test within 72 hours before departure.

Travellers will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter or transfer through Singapore. This requirement will take effect for those arriving in or transferring through Singapore from 19 October 2020, 2359 hours.

These travellers will still be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities in Singapore, and to take a negative COVID-19 test before the end of their SHN.

Similarly, travellers from India who are transiting through Singapore will now also be required to present a valid negative COVID-19 test result before proceeding. 

From 14 Oct, 2359 hours, travellers from Hong Kong to serve reduced SHN

In late August, Singapore announced that it will be reducing the SHN requirements for visitors from low-risk countries/regions, from 14 days to seven days. These countries/regions included Vietnam, New Zealand, Malaysia (now exlcuding Sabah), and more.

Hong Kong will now be added to the list, effective 14 October 2020, 2359 hours, wherein travellers from the country will now need to serve just seven days of SHN, at their place of residence instead of a designated SHN facility.

Applications for visas to enter Singapore to resume 

In line with the calibrated reopening of Singapore’s borders, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will lift visa suspension and resume the issuance of new visas.

Thus, short-term visitors who require a visa to enter Singapore can apply for visas though a local contact, Singapore overseas mission, or authorised visa agent from 18 October 2020, 2359 hours.

Visitors who had already been issued with visas which are still valid, as well as those who are eligible for the visa-free transit facility, do not need to re-apply/apply.

That said, it should be noted that possession of a valid visa alone does not guarantee entry into Singapore. Instead, all short-term visitors must still seek prior approval via appropriate COVID-19 travel channels (e.g. obtain a Safe Travel Pass under Green/Fast Lane arrangements, or Air Travel Pass) before they can enter Singapore.

More information will be available at ICA’s website.

Singapore and Indonesia announce cross-border travel for essential business

Cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes can soon resume between Singapore and Indonesia through a Reciprocal Green Lane, both countries' Ministers for Foreign Affairs have announced in a statement

The RGL, referred to by Indonesia as the Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA), will be open to Indonesian citizens as well as Singapore citizens and residents. These travellers will have to abide by the COVID-19 prevention and public health measures mutually agreed upon by both countries, including pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 PCR swab tests from mutually-recognised health institutions.

Applications for the RGL/TCA will commence on 26 October 2020, with travel to begin soon after. The Ministries will also announce operational details such as procedural requirements, health protocols, and the application process, at a later date.

Photo / 123RF

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