non-fully vaccinated travelers don’t need quarantine from Monday

People sit outside a bar at Emily Hill in Singapore, on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022.

Ore Huiying | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Singapore is set to allow non-fully vaccinated travelers to skip quarantine on arrival starting Monday, authorities announced Wednesday.

The country is also set to remove indoor mask requirements from Aug. 29, as it seeks to take another step toward living with Covid.

While the further easing of safety and border measures is a “significant milestone,” the country must still “be mentally prepared for any sudden change because we don’t know how this virus will mutate and what the next variant will look like,” said Singapore’s deputy prime minister Lawrence Wong, who is also co-chair of the Covid task force in Singapore.

Visitors who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to test negative for Covid within 2 days prior to their departure for Singapore. But they will no longer need to serve a 7-day quarantine at home or at their place of residence.

Currently, fully vaccinated travelers can enter Singapore without taking Covid-19 tests or undergoing quarantine.

Non-vaccinated long-term visitors and short-term visitors who are 13 years and above are currently required to apply for entry approval to enter Singapore. This requirement will also be lifted from Monday, according to the Ministry of Health.

Easing of mask requirements

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Currently, masks are required in nearly all indoor settings, with the exception of workplaces where there are no physical interaction or customer-facing areas.

“For business and employers, they have the discretion to decide whether or not they might want to do this [from] a workplace safety point of view … we are lifting a mandatory requirement for mask-wearing but it is optional,” said Wong.

Boosters

In preparation for the next wave of omicron, the health ministry said a second mRNA Covid booster is now recommended for those who are 60 years and above.

Previously, second boosters were only recommended for those who were 80 years and older.

Around 93% of the population completed the primary vaccination series as of Monday, while 79% of the total population received boosters.

The high booster rate is a “key reason” that the nation has been able to ride through the current Covid wave, said Singapore’s health minister Ong Ye Kung.

Ong stressed the need to expand recommendations to of second boosters to those 60 to 79 years old — five months after their first booster — even though the first booster has provided strong protection against severe illnesses for those in this age group.

The health ministry also recommended that children between 5 to 11 years old receive one booster — five months after the second dose of their primary vaccination series — to boost their protection.

Covid situation in Singapore

People wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.

Maverick Asio | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

In April, separate rules for unvaccinated people were also removed, with some exceptions.

Those who are not vaccinated will still not be allowed to dine in, or participate in events with more than 500 people. Neither can they visit nightlife establishments where dancing is involved.

However, food and beverage outlets won’t be required to check the vaccination statuses of customers, the health ministry said in a press release.

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