COVID-19: Singapore tightens border measures for travellers from Australia’s Victoria state

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Visitors walk through Changi Airport Terminal 1 in Singapore on Dec 7, 2020. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

(Updated: )

SINGAPORE: Singapore will tighten border control measures for those with a travel history to Australia’s Victoria state, after a spike in COVID-19 cases there, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (May 27).

From 11.59pm on Saturday, short-term travellers holding an Air Travel Pass with travel history to Victoria within the last 21 days before departing for Singapore will not be allowed to enter the country.

Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders with travel history to Victoria within the last 21 days before departure will be subject to an on-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a seven-day stay-home notice at their place of residence, and a COVID-19 PCR test before the end of the stay-home notice period.

All other travellers departing from Australia who have been in Australia (excluding Victoria state) in the last 21 days prior to travel will continue to be subject to a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport, in lieu of their stay-home notice.

READ: Australia’s Victoria state to enter COVID-19 lockdown after ‘highly infectious’ outbreak

“Given the increased cases observed in Victoria state, Australia, we will be tightening border control measures for travellers with travel history to (the state),” MOH said. 

The Health Ministry said it will continue to adjust Singapore’s border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community as the global COVID-19 situation evolves. 

Victoria state will enter a one-week lockdown from 11.59pm on Thursday as authorities scramble to contain a “highly infectious strain of the virus”.

A fresh cluster of infections detected in the state capital Melbourne early this week more than doubled to 26 on Thursday after 12 new cases overnight.

Officials have traced the cluster – the first in the state in more than three months – to an overseas traveller infected with a variant first found in India.

Contact tracers have since identified more than 10,000 primary and secondary contacts who would need to quarantine, test and self isolate.

Authorities are “dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, which is running faster than we have ever recorded”, said Victoria state Acting Premier James Merlino.

“Unless something drastic happens, this will become increasingly uncontrollable,” he said.

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