People sit outside a bar at Emily Hill in Singapore, on Monday, August 22, 2022.
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SINGAPORE – Singapore is set to allow travelers who are not fully vaccinated to skip quarantine on arrival starting Monday, the government announced on Wednesday.
The country is also set to remove indoor mask requirements from August 29, as it seeks to take another step towards living with Covid.
While the further easing of safety and border measures is a “major milestone”, the country still has to “be prepared for any sudden change as we do not know the virus”. how will it mutate and what the next variant will be,” he said. Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, and co-chair of the Covid task force in Singapore.
Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to test negative for Covid within 2 days prior to departure for Singapore. But they will no longer need to undergo a 7-day quarantine at home or in their residence.
Currently, fully vaccinated travelers can enter Singapore without having to undergo Covid-19 tests or undergo quarantine.
Non-vaccinated long-term travelers and short-term visitors 13 years of age and older must now apply for an entry approval to enter Singapore. This requirement will also be lifted from Monday, according to the Department of Health.
Masks will be optional indoors and required in special environments, such as on public transport, and in healthcare settings such as hospitals, care homes, the Department of Health said. residential care and ambulances since Monday, the Health Department said. They are optional in taxis, private hires and in the airport.
“The reason is that we have identified areas where essential services are being performed in enclosed, crowded and frequently used spaces,” said Wong, who is also the country’s finance minister. used by vulnerable people”.
The decision to raise the mask requirements is first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.
Currently, masks are required in nearly all indoor environments, with the exception of workplaces with no physical interaction or customer-facing areas.
“For businesses and employers, it’s up to them to decide if they might want to do this or not. [from] workplace safety… we’re lifting the requirement for mask wearing but it’s optional,” Wong said.
To prepare for the next wave of omicrons, the Department of Health said a second Covid mRNA booster is now recommended for people aged 60 and over.
Previously, the second booster was only recommended for people 80 years of age and older.
About 93% of the population completed their primary vaccination on Monday, while 79% of the total population received a booster shot.
Singapore’s Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the high boost rate was a “key reason” the country was able to weather the current Covid wave.
Ong stressed the need to extend second booster recommendations to people aged 60 to 79 years – five months after the first booster shot – even though the first booster did provide protection strong against serious diseases for people in this age group.
The Department of Health also recommends that children aged 5 to 11 years get a booster shot again – 5 months after the second dose in their main series of immunizations – to enhance their protection.
Wong said plans are in place for a potential new Covid wave, perhaps in winter.
“We are continuing to monitor closely, and we have contingency plans in place for a variety of cases including expansion of healthcare capacity as well as … immunization activities if and when necessary. “, Wong said at Wednesday’s press conference.
He added that those plans would “buy us time”, should there be an aggressive and dangerous Covid wave.
The average number of daily infections over the seven-day period fell to 2,700 on Tuesday, as daily infections continued to fall from a record 26,032 on Feb. 22. Most of those infected in Singapore have mild or no symptoms.
The Southeast Asian country further relaxes Covid measures at the end of April. Social gatherings will no longer be limited to 10 people and people will no longer need to be 1 meter apart.
People wear masks as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.
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In April, separate rules for the unvaccinated were also removed, with some exceptions.
Unvaccinated people will still not be allowed to dine or attend events with more than 500 people. They also cannot visit nightlife establishments where there is dancing.
However, the Ministry of Health said in a press release that food and beverage stores will not be required to check the immunization status of customers.