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Covid-19: Singapore to test incoming travellers from June 18

SINGAPORE (June 16): Singapore will put in place a testing regime for all incoming travellers entering Singapore from June 18, before the end of their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Since March 21, 2020, all incoming travellers, including Singaporeans, permanent residents and Long Term Pass (LTP) holders, have been required to serve the SHN.

The new requirement is an additional precautionary measure to detect the virus, especially given the risks of asymptomatic cases.

"As we are reopening our economy and society, we expect more travellers coming back to Singapore," said the republic’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong at a virtual press conference, here yesterday.

Wong who is also the co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on Covid-19 highlighted that the republic is currently in the midst of establishing green lanes with several countries and have established one with China.

Apart from the testing regime, Singapore is also updating its existing requirement for all incoming travellers to stay at dedicated SHN facilities.

From June 18, travellers who had remained in Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, China, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the last consecutive 14 days, will no longer have to serve their SHN at dedicated facilities.

“It is only for this group, if they are coming back from these specific areas, then the SHN can be served at a place of residence rather than a dedicated facility,” said Wong.

"The risk of importation from abroad varies from country to country because countries and regions are at various stages of putting in place effective systems to control the infection. So we will also adjust our border measures to take into account these differences in risk," he said.

From Thursday, all inbound and outbound travellers will also be required to pay for their Covid-19 tests while incoming travellers who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents will be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.

“Up to now, the cost of tests and the cost of SHN facilities have been borne by the (Singapore) Government. But looking ahead as we reopen for more travel, we will want to move to a more sustainable position,” said Wong.

With the arrangements in place, Wong expects the republic to have the ability to allow more Long-Term Pass Holders overseas to return to Singapore.

For now, Singapore is not allowing short-term visitors yet, except those coming in under the green or fast lane arrangements, or with special prior approval.

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