SINGAPORE: In a move similar to that made by Thai authorities yesterday (Dec 21), Singapore today announced it was suspending the sale of tickets for arriving flights and buses under its quarantine-free travel programme.
Singapore’s Changi Airport arrivals hall. Photo: AFP
The ruling comes into effect tomorrow until Jan 20, the Singapore government confirmed, and is a direct response to concerns around the spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
All 24 countries that have an agreement with the city state over quarantine-free travel will be impacted by the decision although people that had already purchased tickets would still be permitted to travel.
The Singapore Ministry of Health also confirmed that it will reduce the number of ticket sales and therefore people allowed into the country from Jan 20 onwards.
“Our border measures will help to buy us time to study and understand the omicron variant, and to strengthen our defences, including enhancing our healthcare capacity, and getting more people vaccinated and boosted,” the ministry said in a statement.
Singapore opened its borders to fully vaccinated foreigners in October and local cases of COVID-19 have fallen from daily highs of 4,600 to just 221 yesterday in that timeframe.
However, despite being one of the most vaccinated countries in the world with 87% of its population inoculated, the confirmation that 65 cases of Omicron have been recorded prompted the government to act in a similar vein to Thai authorities who yesterday announced that the “Test & Go” project would be scrapped and new passes for visitors put on hold immediately.
Source: The Phuket News