Additional border restrictions due to COVID-19

In view of the latest developments of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, relevant authorities have further stepped up and announced additional measures pertaining to travels into Singapore. Travellers are advised to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect.

New measures will also be implemented starting from 20th March 2020, 23:59hrs, in addition to the current measures that have been rolled out to date.

Who will be affected?

Affected travellers will include:
• Returning residents (i.e. Singapore citizens, permanent residents)
• General visitors to Singapore
• Existing Work Pass holders and their related pass holders (individuals holding a valid and active long term pass)
• New Work Pass holders and their related pass holders (individuals issued with In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letters)

With effect from 20th March 2020, 23:59hrs, affected regions will be further expanded to include all countries.

Affected Regions include:

Implementation

From 20th March 2020, 23:59hrs, latest advisory from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be implemented as follows:

Returning Residents

Stay-Home Notice (SHN) will be issued to returning residents which includes Singapore citizens, Permanent residents and Long Term Pass holders (including all work pass holders of all categories, Dependant Pass (DP) holders, and Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders) whom have travelled overseas, regardless of destination, within the last 14 days from their time of arrival to Singapore.

Individuals placed under the SHN will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a period of 14 days. Mandatory checks will be performed by the authorities to ensure that affected individuals adhere and comply with the SHN requirements, to ensure that the well-being of the community will not be put at risk.

Returning residents who have visited Hubei province, Mainland China in the last 14 days will be placed on Home Quarantine Order for a period of 14 days, and during this time, they are strictly not permitted to leave their place of residence at all times regardless of any reason.

General Visitors

Any visitors to Singapore with recent travel overseas, excluding Mainland China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Iran and South Korea, will also be issued with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN), whereby affected visitors will need to provide proof of accommodation where the SHN will be served or a place of residence which they or their family members own.

In addition, they may be required to complete a COVID-19 swab test, even if they are asymptomatic, at the sole discretion of the ICA authorities.

All short-term visitors who are nationals of any ASEAN country will also have to submit required information pertaining to their health conditions to the Singapore Overseas Mission at their current place of residence before their intended travel date to Singapore. The Ministry of Health (MOH) will need to approve of the health information before the affected visitors may proceed with their travel plans.

Upon arrival to Singapore, the approvals will be verified by the ICA authorities. Those who do not meet the entry requirements and/or without the necessary approvals will be denied entry into Singapore.

Denial of Entry into Singapore

All visitors with recent travel history to the affected regions within the last 14 days, as listed below, will not be permitted to enter OR transit from Singapore.

Existing and New Work Pass Holders and Related Passes Holders

Regardless of nationality, MOM will require all new and existing work pass holders of all categories, Dependant Pass (DP) holders, DP holders who are current Letter of Consent (LOC) holders and Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders who have travelled overseas within the last 14 days to submit and acquire prior approval from MOM before they proceed with their travel plans.

Employers and/or affected employees should only confirm flights to Singapore after receiving the necessary approvals from MOM.

Additional obligations will also have to be undertaken by the employers towards the employees and their dependants, which includes:

Pre-arrival

• Ensuring that a suitable place of residence has been secured for the affected employees to complete their SHN (e.g. securing landlord’s written consent, arrangement of alternative housing such as hotels, etc.).
• Affected employees are reachable locally via phone to allow MOM officials to contact them as necessary.

Post-arrival

• Ensure affected employees complied with and understand the requirements of the SHN conditions.
• Make arrangements to send affected employees directly from the airport to their accommodation immediately upon their arrival to Singapore.
• Ensure prompt response upon communication effort made by the MOM officials (e.g. phone or video calls via WhatsApp, SMS text messages, etc.).
• Arrange for food and other daily essentials to be provided to affected employees during the SHN period.
• Ensure non-emergency medical needs are taken care of such that affected employees do not need to leave their accommodation during the SHN duration.

In addition, Stay-Home Notice (SHN) will be issued to all new and existing work pass holders and their related pass holders which includes work pass holders of all categories, Dependant Pass (DP) holders, and Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders whom have travelled overseas, regardless of destination, within the last 14 days from their time of arrival to Singapore.

Individuals placed under the SHN will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a period of 14 days. Mandatory checks will be performed by the authorities to ensure that affected individuals adhere and comply with the SHN requirements, in ensuring that the well-being of the community will not be put at risk.

Further work pass formalities, such as the issuance of work pass with MOM, may only proceed after the 14-day SHN period has been completed.

For work pass and related pass holders holding Hubei-issued passports or with recent travel to Hubei, MOM has advised to defer their entry to Singapore as far as possible, until further advice is received.

Santa Fe Analysis

In light of the latest measures rolled out, authorities have not stipulated any timeline for these additional measures implemented, affected travellers should refrain from making travel plans to Singapore as much as possible until further advice is received from the relevant government bodies.

For employers, it is advised to keep assignment start dates flexible for affected travellers and also to defer all travels till further notice.

And in view of the evolving COVID-19 situation, kindly visit the following links for the latest information pertaining to any developments in advisory notices from the relevant government bodies:

 

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Ai Leng Chew
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation
Singapore
D: +65 6398 3004
M: +65 8921 8803
E: aileng.chew@santaferelo.com

Robert Day
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
London, UK
M:+44 7990 021125
E: Robert.Day@santaeferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here

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