COVID-19 update: Latest restrictions implemented with immediate effect

In view of the latest developments of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, relevant authorities have announced additional precautionary measures pertaining to travel into Singapore with immediate effect.

Who will be affected?

Affected travellers will include:
• Returning residents (i.e. Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long term pass holders)
• 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)

Implementation

Returning Residents

Stay-Home Notice (SHN) will be issued to returning residents which includes Singapore citizens, Permanent residents and Long Term Pass holders (including Student’s Pass, Dependant Pass and Long Term Visit Pass) issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) upon entry into Singapore.

The SHN will not apply to Singapore residents who fulfils the following conditions:

• Used Sea/Land crossings with Malaysia;
• Travel history within the last 14 days to only Malaysia; and
• Did not undergo a swab test at the checkpoints

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.

As of 27 March 2020, these travellers are required to submit their arrival details and health declaration via an online portal, “SG Arrival e-Service”, within 3 days prior to their date of arrival in Singapore.

In cases whereby travellers have visited a hospital, had contact with a COVID-19 case, and/or a change in their health status and/or travel history, they will need to resubmit their health declarations before they may proceed with immigration clearance at the checkpoints.

COVID-19 Swab Test

A COVID-19 swab test at the Immigration checkpoints will be undertaken for any individuals exhibiting fever or other respiratory illness symptoms. All such travellers will be issued with a 14-day SHN which must be served in full even if the swab test results prove negative.

Those who display positive results will be sent to hospital for follow-up immediately.

General Visitors

With immediate effect, all short-term visitors will no longer be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

Visitors who are already in Singapore will not be affected by this latest measure.

Existing and New Work Pass Holders and Related Passes Holders

All employers are strongly advised to defer bringing work pass holders (and their dependants) into Singapore, in view of the current COVID-19 situation, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be restricting the entry of work pass holders into Singapore.

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.

In addition, due to the escalating situation, MOM will be considering all travel approval applications stringently and work pass holders providing essential services, such as healthcare or transport sectors, will be assessed on priority.

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:

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 from their time of arrival to Singapore.

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, 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.

Due to the dynamic environment surrounding the COVID-19 situation, kindly visit the following links for the latest information pertaining to any developments in advisory notices from the relevant government bodies:

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 – Singpapore
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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