Singapore will further restrict overseas arrivals from more countries as the Covid-19 situation in India continues to deteriorate further. 

The Health Ministry said on April 30 that from May 1, 11.59 pm, long term pass holders and short term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, neither will they be allowed to transit through Singapore. 

This will also apply to all those who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.

For travellers with recent travel history to these countries and who have yet to complete their 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN) by  May 2, 11.59 pm, they will need to complete an additional 7-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities. 

These travellers will also undergo Covid-19 swab tests on arrival, on Day 14 of their SHN, and another test before the end of their 21-day SHN period.

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In addition, from 2 May, 11.59 hours, travellers with recent travel history to Thailand will no longer be able to opt-out of serving their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.

SEE:TTSH cluster expands to 13 cases, 5 'likely' reinfections in worker dorms

Local measures to take effect May 1

In Singapore, local measures will also be tightened in light of the spike in community cases in recent weeks. 

As such, MOH revealed from May 1 to May 14, all individuals should limit their overall number of social interactions, to not more than two per day, whether it is visiting another household or meeting with friends or family members in a public place.

This comes after the tightening of household visits to two a day on Jan 22, ahead of the Chinese New Year festive season. 

In addition, the occupancy limit will be reduced for Malls and large standalone stores to one person per 10 square meters of Gross Floor Area (GFA), up from one person per 8 square meters of GFA.

The odd and even date entry restrictions at popular malls, like Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza on Sundays will also be reinstated. 

All outdoor barbecue pits and campsites will be closed to the public, and includes barbecue pits in parks, HDB estates, condominiums and country clubs.

Furthermore, from May 7 through May 14, all attractions that have received the Trade and Industry Ministry’s prior approval will be permitted to operate at 50% operating capacity, a reduction from 65%.

Furthermore, MOH advised employers should allow employees to work from home if they are able to do so, and should continue to stagger start times of employees who need to return to the workplace, and implement flexible working hours.

Reopening ‘not a one-way street’: Lawrence Wong

Speaking at a press conference, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said he is aware that these new measures will create “inconvenience” for everyone, especially as a slew of public holidays are coming up in May. 

“I know many are looking forward to these public holidays, you will have made plans, you may want to gather together, you may want to socialize or meet your family and friends, but I seek everyone's cooperation to scale back your social activities and comply with all the prevailing rules.” he said. 

Wong also pointed out that since the end of the circuit breaker in June 2020, Singapore has been progressively opening up and resuming activities, but reminded Singaporeans that this was “not a one-way street.” 

“If the situation were to worsen. We may have to consider further tightening and significantly reducing interactions in the community, with more stringent measures… There will be stops and starts, and there will be bumps along the way, we are encountering now one such bump in our journey of reopening.” 

He said, however, that “today, we have better capabilities and tools to control the infection.”

Photo credit: MCI