Singapore to permit entry of travellers from six countries, including India
Singapore will on Wednesday begin allowing the entry of travellers from six countries, including India, from which travel was barred, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of Indian students and professionals.
The decision follows a review of Singapore’s Covid-19-related travel restrictions and is aimed at further opening up the country to international travellers. Singapore’s recent decision to open “Vaccinated Travel Lanes” for 11 countries, including Brunei, Germany, France, Italy and the UK, while excluding India had not gone down well with many Indians living and working in the city state.
A statement issued by Singapore’s health ministry on Saturday said that, following a review of the Covid-19 situation in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, all travellers with a 14-day travel history to these countries “prior to departure to Singapore will be allowed to enter and transit through Singapore” from October 27.
Travellers from these six countries will still be subject to strict border measures, including a 10-day “stay-home notice” period at dedicated facilities.
Singapore’s health minister Ong Ye Kung was quoted by the local media as saying at a news briefing that the situation in the six countries had stabilised for some time, and there was no longer a need for strict rules that barred travellers from these nations.
Earlier, some Indians living and working in Singapore were irked that India had not been included in the list of countries with Vaccinated Travel Lanes. Indians living in Singapore had been unable to travel home for months. At the same time, Indians who had returned home in the early stages of the pandemic were unable to return to their jobs or educational courses because of the bar on travel from the six countries.
The authorities in Singapore were aware of the growing anger on this count and had begun taking steps in recent weeks to address the matter, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Singapore will allow necessary workers and students to enter its borders in a safe and calibrated manner from November 1 on the condition that they are fully vaccinated before arrival. It will also facilitate the entry of more domestic workers to meet urgent domestic and caregiving needs of local households, while regulating the numbers carefully as the global situation evolves.
Travellers from India and the five other countries will have to undergo pre-departure PCR tests within 48 hours, and an exit PCR test at the end of their “stay-home notice” (SHN) period. The charges for the 10-day SHN at a dedicated facility is $1,450.