Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether there will be any restrictions imposed on international travellers entering Singapore; and (b) what are the measures to prevent imported COVID-19 cases.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr Chee Hong Tat)
1. Restrictions on short-term travel into Singapore have been in place since 22 March this year, to prevent the import of COVID-19 cases from abroad. In line with our phased resumption of activities safely from June 2 after circuit breaker, we will also gradually reopen our borders to safe international travel.
2. This will initially comprise green lane arrangements with countries that have low numbers of cases and rates of transmission. These countries should have in place effective systems to test and isolate cases, as well as detect and stop any transmission chains.
3. We will start on a limited scale, focusing on essential travel for businesses to function and for purposes such as maintaining critical infrastructure and providing needed services. As global conditions improve, we will gradually expand such arrangements to include more groups of travellers. Besides pre-departure checks, incoming international travellers will have to comply with safety protocols on arrival. These include testing and the use of devices for contact tracing.
4. As announced on 3 June, the first green lane arrangement will be launched on 8 June between Singapore and six Chinese provinces or municipalities namely Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang. We intend to progressively expand this list to include other Chinese provinces as well as other countries, taking into account public health and safety considerations.
5. As a key transport and business hub, it is critical for Singapore to re-establish and strengthen our connectivity with the world. We will do so in a safe and calibrated manner, so that we can continue to protect lives and livelihoods.