Singapore strengthens testing, suspends reopening for Omicron variant

Vaccinated travel between Singapore and Malaysia opens in Singapore
A bus driver sprayed disinfectant on the luggage of passengers traveling to Malaysia as the Vaccinated Travel Route between Singapore and Malaysia opened after the land border between the two countries reopened after nearly closed for two years due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at a bus stop in Singapore November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Caroline Chia

November 30, 2021

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore will suspend reopening measures while it evaluates the Omicron COVID-19 variant and will ramp up testing for travelers and frontline workers to reduce the risk of local transmission of the disease. local, authorities said on Tuesday.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the quarantine-free entry policy for vaccinated people to the Asian travel and financial hub will not be extended to more countries than now, while Current social distancing measures are still in place, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said.

“It is a prudent thing to do now, as we are facing a great deal of uncertainty,” Ong told a media briefing.

Singapore will prioritize the use of COVID-19 Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests manufactured by Thermo Fisher on travellers. Thermo Fisher says they can detect the Omicron variant.

Any Omicron cases found in Singapore will be admitted to government medical facilities rather than home isolation so far used for mild COVID-19 cases.

Ong said Singapore’s high vaccination rate should provide some protection against this variant.

The city government had previously restricted arrivals from South African countries and delayed the expansion of the quarantine-free entry program for vaccinated travelers from several Middle Eastern countries, due to the “position of Near them are transport links to the affected countries.

(Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Martin Petty) Singapore strengthens testing, suspends reopening for Omicron variant


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