Travellers entering Singapore will face stricter rules from 23.59 on December 2 as the city-state attempts to buffer against the spread of the new Omicron variant.
The Straits Times reported that while no Omicron cases have been detected locally, the Ministry of Health said the pre-emptive measures are needed for Singapore to assess the implications of the new variant. Such measures will also help to reduce the risk of importation of the virus.
Under the new requirements, air travellers arriving on the quarantine-free Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme must undergo supervised, self-administered antigen rapid tests at a Quick Test Centre on days three and seven of their arrival.
Previously, such travellers would only need to take a Covid-19 swab test prior to their departure for Singapore, and upon arrival.
All air travellers entering, transferring or transiting through Singapore must also have tested negative in a pre-departure test within two days of leaving for Singapore.
Third, all travellers must take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on arrival. This will affect non-VTL travellers entering Singapore who are not from Hong Kong, Macau, China and Taiwan.
These tightened restrictions will be in place for four weeks, and are subjected to review and possible extension.
This announcement follows on the heels of the government’s decision to indefinitely postpone planned VTLs for Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.