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Travel update: Visitors from Brunei and New Zealand entering Singapore will not need to serve stay-home notice from Sep 1

Travellers in masks Image Credits:

Since Jun 18, travellers from Australia (excluding Victoria State), Brunei Darussalam, Macao, Mainland China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam can serve their 14-day stay-home notice at their own place of residence upon entering Singapore.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) updated today (Aug 21) that travellers coming to Singapore from Brunei and New Zealand from Sep 1 will not be required to serve a stay-home notice but will take a COVID-19 test upon arrival instead.

“Amongst these low-risk countries, we will start by lifting our current border restrictions to allow the entry of visitors from Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand into Singapore,” said MOH.

How it works

Visitors from the two countries will need to apply for an Air Travel Pass between seven and 30 days before their intended date of entry. For example, if they are travelling from Sep 8, an application for the pass must be done on Sep 1.

But before they can go about their activities in Singapore, they must test negative for the virus. 

“They will be responsible for their medical bills should they require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore,” MOH said.

Not a reciprocal arrangement

According to Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force, the travel arrangements with Brunei and New Zealand are not reciprocal. However, Singapore is currently in discussion for reciprocal green lane arrangements with the two countries.

“When we are ready with the reciprocal green lane arrangements with these two countries, we will announce the details,” he said.

“Specific to these two countries, we are making a move based on the evidence, based on our assessment of risk,” he added.

General travel to Brunei and New Zealand will be allowed
Onboard Singapore Airlines during COVID-19

Image Credits: The Straits Times

The current travel advisory to defer all travel abroad will also be updated to allow general travel to Brunei and New Zealand. People visiting these two countries must check the entry requirements and take the necessary precautions.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said, “Don’t just hop on the plane and go. Please check what are the requirements of the destination countries, make sure that you comply with the requirements before you fly over.”

“At the same time when you’re there, continue to exercise vigilance, continue to exercise safe distancing, and also observe the safe distancing rules in those countries, so that you protect yourself and protect others,” he added.

Looking forward

“We have monitored the situation and assessed that there are several countries/regions where the virus situation is well under control and the risk of importation is low. We will therefore update our border measures accordingly,” explained MOH.

Those who abide by the travel advisories will be eligible for government subsidies and coverage for their COVID-19 treatment should they have symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore and require hospital admission for suspected infection.

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