Singapore: The authorities here have told airlines to ensure that those coming to Singapore have a valid negative coronavirus test report before boarding a flight. The measure applies on Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) too, a Channel News Asia report said.
Previously only long-term pass holders and short-term pass visitors entering Singapore were required to present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test report. The new directions have come after the Ministry of Health announced last week that Singaporeans and PRs are now required to present a report of the test, taken within 72 hours before departing for Singapore.
”Airlines must not allow a passenger to board the flight to Singapore if that passenger fails to produce the result of the required PCR test or if the result of that PCR test is positive. They will be responsible to carry a person who is denied entry into Singapore back to the point of departure,” said Margaret Tan, Security Director at the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
These PCR certificates should be issued by an internationally accredited or recognised laboratory, clinic or medical facility specified by the Singapore’s Ministry of Health, Tan said.
All airlines flying into Changi Airport here have been informed of the new requirement. Those who arrive without a valid negative test result may be denied entry, the ministry said, adding that PRs and long-term pass holders who fail to comply may also have their permit or pass cancelled.
According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) SafeTravel website, those travelling by plane or boat will have to present their test result at the air and sea checkpoints upon arrival in Singapore. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines (SIA) said passengers will be required to show its service agents a valid negative test certificate.
“This test must have been taken within 72 hours of their first point of embarkation,” said a spokesperson for the national carrier. “Passengers who are unable to produce a valid certificate will not be permitted to board the flight,” the news report quoting airline spokesperson said. However, those who are unable to get COVID-19 tests done in time will be allowed to book another flight without incurring further penalties, the SIA said.
“Complimentary re-booking is available for passengers who are unable to meet the requirements in time, subject to seat availability,” said the SIA spokesperson. Moreover, a growing number of public places, including hotels, eateries and shopping malls are being noted as clusters for spreading COVID-19, according to media reports.
Some of these places have been or are being shut down for sanitisation while people having visited these places are urged to go for coronavirus tests. COVID-19 tests are also being carried out on residents of apartment blocks in public housing estates where some coronavirus infections have been reported and traced while students are being vaccinated as Singapore implements tough safety measures to control the spread of COVID-19.
On Monday, Singapore reported 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 15 of which were in the community (local). The other three were imported cases, one from India and two from the Philippines. To date, Singapore has recorded 62,069 COVID-19 cases while 61,481 people have fully recovered. Thirty-three people have died from complications due to the disease, said the Health Ministry.