All incoming travellers to S’pore subject to Covid tests

Quiet Lau Pa Sat food court in Singapore with less tourists during the pandemic of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Singapore will begin phase two of its reopening plans on June 19, allowing retail businesses to reopen their physical outlets, while dining in at F&B outlets and social gatherings of up to five people will also resume.

For F&B dine-in, there must not be more than five persons per table, and tables must be spaced one metre apart, announced the country’s Covid-19 multi-ministry task force on Monday.

As Singapore enters phase two of its post circuit-breaker, dine-in at F&B outlets will be allowed once more; quiet Lau Pa Sat food court in Singapore during the pandemic

The decision comes three weeks after circuit breaker measures were eased and Singapore began its first phase of reopening. During this period, local infection figures hovered below 500, with single-digit local community cases and the majority located in foreign worker dormitories.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement: “Community infection rates have remained generally stable, despite the increase in workplace activity in Phase 1 of reopening. The incidence of cases in migrant worker dormitories has also declined, and there are no new large clusters emerging.”

While travel restrictions remain for short-term visitors, with exception made for those coming in under “fast lane” arrangements, Singapore has announced new measures for travellers entering Singapore starting from June 18.

All travellers entering Singapore will be subject to a Covid-19 test, for which they must foot the bill. Those entering Singapore from selected countries may serve their stay-home notices (SHN) at home, instead of dedicated facilities. These rules apply to travellers who have been in Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, mainland China, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the last 14 consecutive days prior to their entry. The compulsory Covid-19 test will be carried out a few days before the end of their SHN. They will be told of their appointment slot and venue via SMS.

Non-Singaporeans or permanent residents entering Singapore will serve and pay for their SHN at dedicated facilities like hotels.

A Covid-19 test can cost up to S$200 (US$144), while a 14-day stay at a dedicated SHN facility will cost S$2,000.

As more public activities resume, the country will progressively set up regional screening centres to boost its contact tracing efforts and alleviate the “inevitable” rise in cases after phase two, said health minister Gan Kim Yong, a co-chair of the multi-ministry task force.

In the next phase of reopening, the country can expect social, cultural, religious and business gatherings to resume, albeit in limited sizes to prevent outbreak in large clusters.

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