Friday, 30 Oct 2020

askST: How does the removal of quarantine requirements for arrivals in England from Singapore affect me?

British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday (Sept 17) that Singapore and Thailand have been removed from the list of countries from which travellers must quarantine when entering England. The same applies for travellers entering Wales and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland.

The quarantines are in place to curb the spread of Covid-19. Here are some things you need to know about travelling to England.

I am arriving in England soon. When will the quarantine measures be lifted?

If you arrive in England from Singapore from 4am on Saturday (Sept 19) morning, you will not need to self-isolate for 14 days. Those who arrive from Singapore before 4am on Saturday will still be required to undergo quarantine for two weeks.

Are there any conditions?

You would have had to be in Singapore – and any other territory on the UK government’s list of “travel corridor” countries – for at least 14 days before arriving in England. The list can be found at this website.

Are there any other measures in place I have to adhere to?

All passengers arriving in the United Kingdom – except those who travelled from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and stayed in those places for at least 14 days – will have to complete a passenger locator form.

The form can be filled in up to 48 hours before arrival in the UK. There is currently no requirement for travellers entering England to be tested for Covid-19.

If I start my journey from Singapore but spend time elsewhere before arriving in England, will I need to be quarantined?

You will have to self-isolate upon arrival in England if you leave Singapore but stay in or transit through a territory not on the UK travel corridor list before your arrival in England. You will not have to self-isolate if you spent the 14 days before your arrival in England in places that are included on the list.

Can I go to England for a holiday?

With the removal of the quarantine requirement and having met the aforementioned requirements, you will be able to begin your holiday immediately upon arrival from Singapore. However, any travel will be at your own risk. Experts have warned that a second wave of Covid-19 infections could break across Europe in the coming months. In Britain, more than 3,000 new cases were reported in 24 hours for the second day in a row last Saturday (Sept 12).

If I return to Singapore from England, do I need to be quarantined?

Yes. According to the Singapore Government’s advisory, all travellers returning from places other than Australia (except Victoria state), Macau, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and New Zealand will have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at dedicated facilities. In addition, if you left Singapore from March 27 and return here, you will have to bear the costs of Covid-19 tests and stay at a dedicated quarantine facility, at about $200 and $2,000 respectively.

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