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By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, June 23 -- Effective June 24, Singapore will be reducing the duration of the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities to 14 days from 21 days for all new travellers arriving from higher risk countries or regions, according to the republic’s Ministry of Health today.
The ministry said the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19 has been closely monitoring the local and global COVID-19 situation, and the decision to reduce the duration of the SHN was based on updated evidence gathered over the past month.
“In late-April 2021, little was known about the emerging variant of concern, including its incubation period. As a precaution, we had required travellers with recent travel history to higher risk countries or regions to serve a 21-day SHN.
“We have since reviewed the international evidence and local case data,” it said in its website.
All countries or regions are considered higher-risk except Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Macau, China and New Zealand.
While there is increased transmissibility with the new variants of concern, the ministry said it has found no evidence – from both overseas and local data – that these variants come with longer incubation periods.
Since it introduced the 21-day SHN from May 8, 2021, MOH said it has had 270 imported cases among such travellers as of June 22, 2021.
“All of them had incubation periods well within the 14-day window. As such, we will reduce the SHN period from 21 days back to 14 days,” it said.
However, the ministry noted that travellers will be required to test themselves regularly with antigen rapid test (ART) self-test kits on Days 3, 7 and 11 of their arrival in Singapore, while serving their SHN.
“This is on top of the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests they have to take on arrival in Singapore, and on Day 14 of their arrival, before they exit SHN,” said the ministry.
Such testing is required given the higher transmissibility of new variants of concern, and to identify potential infection cases early and provide infected travellers with appropriate medical care as soon as possible, it said.
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