Effective 12pm Wednesday (Jan 29), tightened travel restrictions will be imposed in wake of two new confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus in Singapore, bringing the number of confirmed cases to seven.
According to a recent report by Channel News Asia, on Tuesday (Jan 28), the Ministry of Health announced that in an effort to counter the fast-spreading virus across Asia, people who have a history of travelling to Hubei anytime within the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter Singapore. The restriction will also be imposed on travellers with passports that have been issued in Hubei.
Furthermore, effective immediately, the issuance of new visas for Hubei passport holders–including previously issued short-term and multiple-entry visas–will be suspended. In addition to this, transit facilities will no longer be provided to travellers who meet the criteria of the travel restriction.
The Immigration Checkpoints Authority (ICA) disclosed on Tuesday (Jan 28) that travellers visiting Singapore, who are holding an invalid visa will not be allowed entry, and will be expected to make their own arrangements to leave. However, those requiring more time to do so can approach the ICA, which will provide assistance. This will be implemented in all checkpoints and includes those travelling from Johor Bahru into Singapore by coach. Visitors who are not in possession of a valid visa will also be denied entry.
According to a report by Mothership, there are around 2,000 people falling under the criteria of either having a history of travelling to Hubei or a Hubei-issued passport. The MOH has reportedly begun contacting these individuals, ready to take quarantine measures on those who are high-risk. Having come into contact with someone with the Wuhan virus and having recently visited a hospital in China are part of the assesment criteria.
As for Singaporean residents who are returning from travels abroad as well as long-term pass holders, including Dependant’s Passes and long-term visit passes (LTVP), the 14-day window restriction will also be imposed. Returning PRs and long-term pass holders with PRC passports issued in Hubei will also be included in the quarantine policy.
The MOH has urged airline companies to do their part by informing passengers of these measures that are set to be implemented later today and assures the public that anyone showing symptoms will be attended to. As for quarantine orders, the measures are backed by legal force, with non-compliance being punishable with fines ranging from S$10,000 to six months in prison.
According to Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, Singaporeans and PRs in quarantine will receive an allowance of S$100 a day, which is a measure similar to that used during the SARS outbreak in 2003, as a counter to the economic blow of the virus.
Singaporeans have the option to be quarantined at home.