September 28, 2021

Singapore to loosen Covid-19 measures for Businesses

After early September, anyone who have been vaccinated may travel without the 14-day SHN.

Qinthara Fasya | 27 July 2021

Singapore will begin to reopen borders for vaccinated people to travel without having to serve a 14-day stay home notice (SHN) when they return after early September, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Monday, laying out the timeline for reopening in the coming weeks. This is an enlightening announcement for business travelers and bleisure (business and leisure) travelers.

The task force will review existing measures and the infection situation in early August. Two-thirds of the population, including around three-quarters of seniors, would have gotten two vaccination doses by then. Some precautions can be relaxed if infection clusters are under control and hospitalization rates remain low. However, he noted, this relaxation would only apply to those who have been vaccinated, since they are more protected.

This implies that everyone attending major events or religious services with more than 100 people, as well as anyone dining in a restaurant or working out in a gym, will need to be completely vaccinated. Singapore will also begin to reopen its borders, particularly for those who have been vaccinated. This will begin by creating travel corridors with nations or areas that have successfully handled Covid-19 infections.

With these arrangements, fully vaccinated people will be able to travel to certain countries or regions without needing to stay in a hotel for a 14-day SHN on the return. “We will either replace the SHN with a stringent testing regime or shorten the SHN to 7 days at home, depending on the danger level of the nation they travel,” he added.

Singapore will continue to relax regulations gradually in the future. While Covid-19 instances are anticipated to rise, the focus will shift away from daily case counts and toward infected people who require supplemental oxygen or critical care.

Businesses may promote and enable the vaccination of all medically eligible personnel, incorporate the use of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-tests into work procedures, and enhance operational resilience through flexible work arrangements and business continuity plans to prepare for reopening.

Gan Kim Yong, Minister of Trade and Industry

Mr Gan said the new normal could see virtually all social and occupational restrictions eased, while certain important measures, such as mask-wearing and safeguards for major gatherings, would remain in place.