Singapore moves to relax Covid-19 curbs – Update
Singapore moves to relax Covid-19 curbs – Update

Singapore moves to relax Covid-19 curbs – Update

By Ben Otto and P.R. Venkat

Singapore will next week begin easing most of its Covid-19 restrictions, including by easing border controls, with the virus largely under control in the Southeast Asian nation.

From March 29, the city-state will allow up to 75% of employees who can work from home to return to offices, as well as doubling the allowable size of groups to 10 people, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday.

Cross-border travel will be facilitated “significantly”, with officials lifting most restrictions on fully vaccinated visitors to the country, said Mr. Lee. The use of masks will now be optional outdoors while remaining mandatory indoors.

“Our fight against Covid-19 has reached a major turning point,” said Mr. Lee. “We are not quite at the finish line yet, even though we are approaching.”

Mr. Lee added that the Omicron wave has reached Singapore and is now slowing down, but the country is stopping for a full end on Covid measures to allow conditions to stabilize further. He noted that some countries that declared the pandemic over “are excited that their infection and mortality rates are rising rapidly again.”

Singapore’s civil aviation authority said separately that from April 1, all fully vaccinated travelers will be able to enter Singapore’s quarantine free of charge and without a requirement to obtain entry permits. Fully vaccinated travelers will be required to purchase travel insurance and present a negative test result before traveling to Singapore, but will no longer have to take a test on arrival.

Children aged 12 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority added that vaccinated travelers arriving by sea will be allowed to enter the country without quarantine under similar conditions from 1 April.

Travel and tourism stocks rose on the news, with the flag company Singapore Airlines Ltd. rose 3.9% and casino operator Genting Singapore Ltd. added 3.1%. CDL Hospitality Trusts, the transport company ComfortDelGro Corp. and Frasers Centrepoint Trust increased by 5.1%, 4.2% and 2.15% respectively.

The easing comes two years after the regional economic hub introduced mobility and collects curbs to counter the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the country’s Ministry of Health, 93% of the total population of Singapore has received at least one vaccination dose, while 71% of the total population has received booster shots.

Write to Ben Otto at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.