Additional border restrictions
Singapore has announced updated measures pertaining to travel to affected regions on 15 March 2020. Travellers are advised to defer all non-essential travel and review their travel plans as they may need to adhere to existing and any updated measures imposed by the destinations travelled to and also upon their return to Singapore.
The authorities have also imposed further restrictions on travellers who have travelled to affected regions in the past 14 days before their arrival to Singapore.
Who will be affected?
Affected travellers will include:
- Returning residents (i.e. Singapore citizens, permanent residents, existing long term pass holders)
- General visitors to Singapore
- New Work Pass holders and related passes holders (issued with In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letters)
Affected regions comprised of the following:
- Mainland China (outside Hubei)
- South Korea
- ASEAN countries*
- United Kingdom
*ASEAN countries: Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
With effect from 16 March 2020, 23:59hrs, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) have updated their advisories as follows:
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 travel history to the affected regions within the last 14 days from their time of arrival to Singapore.
Individuals placed under 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.
Any visitors to Singapore with recent travel to the affected regions 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 countries* 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 without the necessary approvals will be denied entry into 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 to the affected regions within the last 14 days from their planned travel or return to Singapore to submit and acquire prior approval from MOM before they proceed with their travel plans.
Employers and/or affected employees should only confirm their 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Santa Fe Analysis
In lieu 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 to keep business travels to the affected regions to a minimum.
For latest information about the coronavirus, kindly visit the following:
Should you have any questions, please contact:
Ai Leng Chew
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +65 6398 3004
M: +65 8921 8803
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +44 7990 021125
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