In an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Singapore has imposed a travel restriction to all visitors from China as well as foreigners that have a recent travel history to mainland China. The travel restriction will start at 11:59 pm on Saturday.
According to ChannelNewsAsia, those with Chinese passports with the exception of Singapore permanent residents (PRs) and long-term pass holders, will also not be allowed to enter Singapore. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will suspend visa issuance to Chinese passport holders immediately and the suspension also includes Singapore’s status as a visa-free transit facility.
On Wednesday, Singapore had imposed restrictions to new visitors that have travelled to Hubei province. After China reported an increase of reported cases to more than 9,000, Singapore’s Ministry of Health predicts a sharper rise in local transmission in Chinese cities beyond Hubei.
For Singapore residents which include permanent residents and long-term pass holders that have recently travelled to mainland China, they will be issued a travel advisory and requested to take a 14-day leave of absence to reduce the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, cabin crew that have to travel to China for work will not be subjected to the new measures but they have to take precautionary measures.
Singapore currently has 13 confirmed cases as of today and there are 8 confirmed cases so far for Malaysia. There are no deaths reported outside of China at the moment.
Yesterday, both Sabah and Sarawak have announced travel bans for mainland China visitors but the Federal Government has not yet announced a nationwide restriction. According to Tun Mahathir, there’s no urgency so far to take that step but Putrajaya is still reviewing such policy.