Curbs on visitors from South Africa into S'pore after reports of more contagious Covid-19 strain: MOH

SINGAPORE – From Monday (Jan 4), all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with a travel history to South Africa in the past 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore or transit through here.

The new measure starts from 11.59pm on Sunday, said the Ministry of Health on Friday, (Jan 1) following reports of a potentially more contagious strain of Covid-19 circulating in South Africa.

“To reduce the risk of spread to Singapore, we are putting in place new border restrictions for travellers from South Africa for further precaution,” said MOH.

This restriction will also apply to those who have obtained prior approval to enter Singapore, added the Health Ministry.

Previously, those who have travelled to South Africa were required to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Returning Singapore citizens and permanent residents will also need to take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on arrival in Singapore at the start of their SHN. These test requirements do not apply to those who are only transiting through Singapore.

To expedite their Covid-19 PCR test at the airport, travellers are encouraged to register and pre-pay for their arrival before departing for Singapore, added MOH.

It said: “While the strain has been suggested to be more transmissible, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine if this strain is associated with any change in disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy. These aspects are being investigated.”

The restrictions will be in place until further notice, said MOH.

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