Singapore’s COVID-19 Immigration Measures: Latest Updates
- As of June 17, 2020, Singapore will allow inbound travelers from selected countries to undergo self-quarantine in their place of residence.
- Inbound travelers will also have to take a COVID-19 test and bear the costs of the test.
- Those who are not eligible to self-quarantine in their place of residence will have to do so at a government facility, which they will also have to bear the costs of.
On June 17, 2020, Singapore began easing immigration measures for inbound travelers arriving from selected countries in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, all incoming travelers will now be tested for COVID-19.
The country recently implemented Phase 2 of reopening its economy, allowing almost the entire country from retail outlets, to F&B, manufacturing, and sports and public utilities to resume business activities, albeit under strict health management measures.Furthermore, Singapore and China and launched the Singapore-China fast lane initiative, which involves creating a ‘travel bubble’ to enable citizens and residents to cross between the two countries with minimal or no quarantine required. Specific health protocols, such as COVID-19 swab testing before and after arrivals do apply, and Singaporean travelers are limited to only the six Chinese provinces that have been permitted to participate in the scheme (Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Zhejiang)
Singapore has the second-highest number of infections in ASEAN with more than 43,000 confirmed cases, although 90 percent have occurred in segregated migrant worker dormitories.
Travelers from selected countries can now serve their SHN notices at home
Since March 2020, the government has mandated all incoming travelers (Singapore citizens, permanents residents, and long-term pass holders) to serve stay-home notices (SHN). Under the SHN requirement, the traveler must adhere to a 14-day quarantine at a dedicated government facility.
From June 17, 2020, Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders who have spent the last consecutive 14-days in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Mainland China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, or Vietnam, can serve their SHN at their place of residence or in suitable accommodation, such as a hotel (at their own cost).
Short-term visitors are not allowed entry into the country except under established arrangements, such as the fast lane or with special approval from relevant government agencies. Moreover, short-term visitors who have the Safetravel Pass can enter the country.
Mandatory COVID-19 testing
Also, from June 17, all incoming travelers will be subject to COVID-19 swab testing, given the rise of asymptomatic patients in the region.
Visitors will be tested a few days before their SHN period ends, and each person will be notified through SMS of the designated testing facility and scheduled appointment slot. Those getting tested should take their own private vehicle or pre-booked taxi, they are not allowed to take public transport. The government has provided a list of six taxi companies that can cater to SHN travelers.
Travelers to bear costs of testing and SHN facilities
All inbound travelers will now have to personally bear the costs of the COVID-19 test in addition to the SHN quarantine facilities, where applicable.The government will allow for a grace period for travelers who left the country before March 27, 2020, but only if they return by August 31, 2020. However, travelers who left after the March date will have to bear the costs of the testing and quarantine upon arrival.
The prevailing charges are summarized below:
- COVID-19 test per person under SHN order – S$200 (US$143); and
- Cost of SHN facility – S$2,000 (US$1,436).
Investors and business people should seek the advice of qualified local advisors who can help with their specific circumstances.
Long-term passholders still need approval to enter Singapore
Long-term passholders, which includes the student’s pass, dependent’s pass, long-term visit pass, as well as work passes, will need prior approval from the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA) before arrival.
Applicants will need to submit an online registration form in addition to their health declaration via the SG Arrival Card e-service. The Arrival Card should be completed within three days prior to the date of arrival in Singapore.
Visitors using the fast lane arrangements will need to have their sponsoring company or government agency in Singapore to submit their application through the Safetravel Pass application portal.