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Singapore

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People wearing protective face masks at Jewel Changi Airport on Dec 8, 2020. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

(Updated: )

SINGAPORE: Jewel Changi Airport as well as Terminals 1 and 3 will be closed to members of the public from Thursday (May 13) for 14 days after a COVID-19 cluster with 25 cases was identified there.

All workers in Terminals 1 and 3, as well as Jewel Changi Airport have been undergoing mandatory COVID-19 tests in a special testing operation that began on Sunday. Terminal 2 has been closed since May 1, 2020.

While the special testing operation is ongoing, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) said on Wednesday that the passenger terminals buildings will be closed to members of the public from Thursday.

As a precaution, passenger terminal buildings will be reopened 14 days later on May 27. Jewel will also be closed for 14 days, said the authorities.

READ: 10 new community COVID-19 cases, including 7 linked to Changi Airport cluster

Changi Airport remains open for air travel during this period, said CAAS and CAG, adding that passengers may also continue to be dropped off and picked up from the airport.

“Access to the passenger terminal buildings will be restricted to only passengers with air tickets and essential airport workers,” said the authorities.

“Some essential services and food and beverage outlets will remain open to serve them. For clarity, members of the public will not be allowed to enter the passenger terminal buildings.”

FREE TESTING FOR PEOPLE WHO VISITED T3

In a separate press release, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it will offer free COVID-19 testing for members of the public who had visited Terminal 3 from May 3 onwards.

This is to “pre-emptively mitigate any potential risk of wider, undetected community transmission”, said the Health Ministry.

“MOH will progressively inform these individuals via SMS notification with information on how to book an appointment for their test,” it added.

All visitors to Terminal 1 and Jewel from May 3 onwards are also advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit. 

“They are strongly encouraged to visit a regional screening centre or Swab and Send Home (SASH) Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) for a free COVID-19 test if they feel unwell,” added MOH.

“REFRAIN FROM GOING OUT”

“We urge all airport workers as well as staff working in Jewel to refrain from going out except for essential work or activities for the next 14 days or until they have been tested negative for COVID-19. They should also not be redeployed to other workplaces or outlets during this period,” said CAAS and CAG.

“Given the evolving nature of COVID-19, we will continue to review and adjust the measures as necessary, including extending the closure if required.”

CAAS and CAG said aviation workers will continue to do their best to secure Singapore’s borders while ensuring that Singapore stays connected to the world even during the pandemic.

CHANGI AIRPORT CLUSTER GROWS

Including the seven new infections reported on Wednesday, the Changi Airport COVID-19 cluster has now grown to 25 cases, including household contacts and family members of previous cases.

The first infection in the cluster was detected on May 5, when an 88-year-old man who works as a cleaner at Terminal 3 tested positive.

A Victoria Junior College student who tested positive for the virus on May 7 was on Tuesday linked to the Changi Airport cluster.

The student had visited the Kopitiam food court at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on May 3, the same day as two other cases in the Changi Airport cluster, said MOH on Tuesday.

CAG said last week that about 9,000 workers from Terminal 1, Terminal 3 and Jewel Changi Airport will undergo COVID-19 testing.

All vaccinated frontline airport workers who had earlier been tested every 28 days will now be tested every 14 days as part of rostered routine testing.

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