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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Singapore lifts restrictions on ten African countries

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On December 26, 2021, Singapore’s Ministry of Health said that it is changing its strategy to managing the COVID-19 Omicron variant, with one of the changes being the easing of travel restrictions on ten African countries.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health said on its website that, as of December 26, 2021, at 23:59 hours, its travel restrictions on the following African nations will be lifted:

Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe are among the countries represented.

Passengers having a 14-day travel history to the African nations listed above will be permitted to enter and transit via Singapore, but will be subject to border controls for Category IV countries and regions.

This means that passengers from any of these ten countries must take a PCR test two days prior to their flight to Singapore, as well as another PCR test once they arrive.

They’ll also be required to serve a 10-day stay-at-home notice at a quarantine facility. At the end of their quarantine period, they will be given another PCR test.

Following first reports of Omicron cases in the region, long-term pass holders and short-term tourists with recent travel histories to certain African nations were not permitted to enter or transit Singapore.

“International evidence indicates that the Omicron variant is likely to be more transmissible but less severe than the Delta variant, and that vaccines, especially boosters, retain substantial protection against hospitalisations caused by Omicron.

In the last week, we had several unlinked Omicron cases as well as clusters in the community. This was not unexpected given the high transmissibility of the variant,” the Ministry of Health said in its statement online.

Meanwhile, the VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) Program in Singapore has been postponed till January 20, 2022.

The VTL enables aviation travel to Singapore without the need for quarantine. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Germany.

The country said on its official VTL website that beginning December 22, 2021, no new ticket sales for any designated VTL flights for entrance into Singapore will be available until January 20, 2022, 2359 local time.

Entry ticket sales will be temporarily reduced from January 21, 2022.

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