Despite forecasts by the city state’s virus task force that the city state is facing a “major wave” that might bring up to 15,000 cases per day, Singapore is to begin relaxing some Omicron-related travel and health-care prohibitions.
Singapore will adopt a major policy change on January 24, 2022, which will be good news for fully-vaccinated travellers who have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
On provision of verifiable proof, fully vaccinated people who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days will be excused from all testing and SHN requirements.
Additionally, Singapore would allow recently infected persons to return to the country as soon as 72 hours after their initial infection, provided they pass a subsequent negative pre-departure test. This means the dreaded “14-day stranding” is no longer a concern for many travellers.
If a fully vaccinated traveler’s pre-departure test comes up positive, he has two options.
- He can take another ART or PCR test conducted by an expert after 72 hours. If the result is negative he may return to Singapore, where he will be subject to current border restrictions (e.g SHN, on-arrival testing)
- He can return to Singapore after waiting seven days and utilising his positive pre-departure test result to avoid further testing or SHNs.
Furthermore, in Singapore, infected people who develop symptoms but are fully vaccinated would only have to stay in isolation for seven days instead of ten, while children will be able to recover at home under the new rules announced on Friday.
Social-distancing measures, on the other hand, will be maintained throughout the Lunar New Year season, with hospital and residential care home measures being tightened.
The weekly Covid-19 infection growth rate in Singapore jumped to 2.17 on Thursday, the highest level since September 16 last year, when it was 2.25.
The news came as Singapore’s health minister, Ong Ye Kung, stated that a small number of anti-vaxxers were “free-riding” on the goodwill of others who had received Covid-19 vaccinations.
About 120,000 people in Singapore over the age of 20 are still unvaccinated, according to Ong, albeit “very few” of them are medically ineligible for the vaccines.
Eighty-eight percent of the 5.45 million persons in the country have been properly vaccinated, with 54% receiving a booster dose. The republic, a global leader in Covid-19 vaccines, began vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 years old in late December.
Ong, one of the country’s Covid-19 task force co-chairs, reiterated that unvaccinated people were the most likely to develop severe cases of the disease and overwhelm the health-care system, adding that if the number of severely ill unvaccinated people turned out to be low, “the credit goes to the rest of the population.”
Despite “a significant number” of people being concerned about vaccines, Ong stated the majority of the country’s population had vaccinated themselves. He explained that they had opted to do their part for their families and the larger community.
“Conversely, if everyone adopts the attitude that we need not get vaccinated because others will and then we free-ride on the rest, then our society will never have achieved the high level of resilience it has today,” Ong said.
The minister’s remarks came only days after new restrictions went into effect requiring only fully vaccinated people to return to work, as well as those who were medically ineligible or had recently recovered.
– India’s new age travel digital media
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