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Asia Minute: Changing Quarantine Rules in Singapore

AP Photo/YK Chan
A man wearing a face mask uses a thermal scanner to check on the temperature of an individual before he can enter a building in Singapore Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Quarantine procedures are coming under closer review, and not only here in Hawaii. A key transit location in Southeast Asia is adjusting its policy beginning today.

Singapore has had a 14-day quarantine in place since March. Like Hawaii’s, the policy applies to both visitors and returning residents. Unlike Hawaii’s policy, Singapore also requires a negative test for the coronavirus before the end of that quarantine.

In June Singapore started to allow travelers from ten Asia Pacific locations to serve those quarantines at their place of residence — or a hotel.

Today, the policy is shifting again.

Now, anyone coming from Japan, Hong Kong, or the Australian state of Victoria will no longer be allowed to quarantine at home — or at a hotel. Overseas visitor or Singapore resident, they will have to spend their 14-day quarantine at a government-supervised facility — and they won’t be able to get there using public transport.

Government officials say they’re taking the steps because of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in those areas. Singapore’s Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said the country’s border policies are “not cast in stone” and are subject to further changes based on the situation of other countries.

As for Singaporean citizens, the government continues to recommend that they avoid all international travel.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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