In response to the spike in new cases in Sydney and the UK, Singapore will tighten measures against travellers from these two locations.

With effect from Dec 23, travellers who had been from New South Wales, the Australian state where Sydney is located, will need to serve a seven-day stay home notice at home as an additional precaution.

Currently, travellers from Australia are to go through a Covid-19 test upon arrival and if the result is negative, they can go about Singapore, and are not required to serve a stay-home notice.

Meanwhile, with growing concern over a new Covid-19 strain in UK, the B.1.1.7, no incoming travellers from UK will be allowed into Singapore, said minister Lawrence Wong. Currently, they are allowed in but have to serve a full 14-day SHN in a dedicated facility. 

Returning Singaporeans and PRs are exempted from this ban. 

SEE:First batch of Covid-19 vaccine arrives in Singapore

“We've been through these many times – when the situation permits, we will relax some of the border measures, but when the situation changes as has happened now, we will tighten up,” said Wong.

“And I think this recent tightening is a reminder to everyone that we cannot afford to let our guard down,” he added.

The B.1.1.7 was responsible for 28% of infections in London by early November but the corresponding proportion shot up to 62% for the week ended Dec 9, prompting renewed lockdown measures. 

According to Wong, this new strain has not been detected in Singapore yet.

Many European countries have similarly banned UK travellers. 

BioNTech, the German company that is partnering with Pfizer to develop the vaccine, is confident that a new vaccine versions could be produced within six weeks to counter new strains.

Just on Dec 21, the first shipment of vaccines reached Singapore.