Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

MOH extends pre-departure Covid-19 testing requirement to S'pore citizens and PRs

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) will have to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before returning to or transiting through Singapore, as the country further tightens its border measures to manage the risk of imported cases and virus transmission.

This updated measure will take effect from 11.59pm on Saturday (May 29), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Travellers have to present a valid negative Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours before leaving for Singapore before they are allowed to board their flight or ferry to the Republic. The test result will also have to be presented at air, land and sea checkpoints upon arrival in Singapore.

Singapore citizens and PRs who stayed in lower-risk countries or regions for 21 days before their departure for Singapore are excluded from this stepped-up measure.

Lower-risk countries or regions refer to Australia, Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and New Zealand.

Citizens and PRs coming from these areas are required to either take a Covid-19 test upon arrival in lieu of a stay-home notice (SHN), or serve a seven-day SHN at their place of residence and take a test at the end of this period.

All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors entering Singapore have been required to present a valid negative PCR test before departing for Singapore since November 2020.

This was not made a requirement for Singapore citizens and PRs at that time, as MOH said it did not want to make it difficult for them to return home, should they be caught unprepared by rapidly deteriorating pandemic conditions abroad.

Citizens and PRs would go through an on-arrival PCR test before being put up at a dedicated SHN facility.

In its statement, MOH said travellers who arrive in Singapore without a valid negative test may be denied entry into the country.

PRs and long-term pass holders who fail to comply with the new requirement may have their permit or pass cancelled.

Singapore will continue to adjust its border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission of Covid-19 to the community as the global situation evolves, the ministry added.

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