International Asia Finding loopholes in travel restrictions: transiting from other countries

Finding loopholes in travel restrictions: transiting from other countries

Many Singaporeans concerned about public health risk




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Singapore — Travellers are looking for ways to sneak through the restrictions placed on long-term pass holders and short-term visitors from India.

Discussions started after the announcement that Singapore would be tightening restrictions on visitors from India. Long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have travelled to India within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore as of 11.59 pm on Friday (Apr 23).

Some netizens are suggesting flying from India first to destinations not restricted by Singapore. These include the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

It is believed that if they first travel to one of these destinations and stay there for two weeks, they would be allowed to enter Singapore as they did not come from India.

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In a private Facebook group related to returning to Singapore, members are discussing the best way to return. Some are suggesting travelling to the Maldives before entering Singapore. Currently, travel is allowed between India and the Maldives, but travellers must undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR test with the sample taken within 96 hours before departure. There is no quarantine for those showing zero symptoms.

Some have shared that they are travelling to Singapore from India due to work opportunities. According to the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd, the majority of the migrant workers are sourced from India or Bangladesh.

Calvin Cheng in a Facebook post recently shared how when borders to the UK were suddenly closed in January, people he knew had to “travel to Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt, etc, stay for 14 days before flying back”.

He added, “Our Indian national friends who are now stranded will do the same – via Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, etc. They will still return, but at great inconvenience and cost.”

He also suggested this method to individuals appealing for help regarding travelling to Singapore.


Photo: Facebook/ All Singapore Stuff

However, many Singaporeans are against this method of gaining entry, sharing that it defeats the purpose of the travel restrictions. “This is a public health risk” netizens argue.

Currently, visitors from the Maldives and other lower-risk countries are only required to serve a 14-day stay-home notice and test negative for Covid-19.

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media

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