Singapore to ask more inbound travelers to take COVID-19 tes

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Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Tuesday that from Nov. 17, the country will require more inbound travelers to take COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure.

It said in a press release that all inbound travelers who are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents, except those from lower-risk countries and regions, will need to do so. They will still be required to serve their Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore and be tested at the end of this period.

The ministry said the move is aimed at further reducing importation risk from high-risk countries and regions. Before this, Singapore has required those travelers to present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result to enter or transfer through Singapore.

According to the press release, lower-risk countries and regions are assessed to have a lower incidence of COVID-19 and comprehensive measures in place to detect and keep community spread at bay.

Currently, travelers from Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam, Australia and the Chinese mainland will take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in lieu of an SHN.

Meanwhile, travelers from Malaysia (excluding Sabah), China's Macao and China's Taiwan entering Singapore will serve a seven-day SHN at their place of residence with a COVID-19 test administered at the end of their SHN, instead of a 14-day SHN. This also applies to travelers from China's Hong Kong who are not under the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble.

MOH also announced that from 11:59 p.m. Nov. 30, any company or individual who requires a PCR test will be able to procure such services from approved providers. This includes individuals who require pre-departure testing. Individuals will no longer be required to seek approval from MOH for pre-departure tests.

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