Arrivals to Singapore face electronic tracking due to pandemic
August 03 2020 05:21 PM
Seafarers who have spent the past months working onboard vessels arrive at the Changi Airport in Sin
Seafarers who have spent the past months working onboard vessels arrive at the Changi Airport in Singapore


Travellers arriving in Singapore from abroad are to wear an electronic monitoring device if they are not self-isolating in a government-designated facility, the government announced on Monday.

The requirement, which comes into force on August 11, aims to ‘reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 by incoming travellers to the local community,’ the country's Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement.

The rule would apply to all incoming travellers, including returning Singaporeans, who ‘will need to activate the electronic monitoring device upon reaching their place of residence,’ the ICA said.

An alert would be sent to authorities if wearers tried to breach quarantine or meddle with the device, the ICA warned.

Since March 21, arrivals have had to self-isolate for 14 days at home or in a government-designated facility, usually a hotel.

Singapore introduced one of the world's first coronavirus contract-tracing smartphone applications around the same time.

Singapore has been largely closed to visitors since late March, though some business travel is permitted from six Chinese cities. Limited commuting across the city-state's land crossing with Malaysia is to be allowed from August 17.

The use of electronic tags, the ICA said, would facilitate ‘progressive lifting of travel restrictions.’  Singapore was among the first countries outside China to report coronavirus infections and was lauded for its relatively low case count during the early stages of the outbreak.

By late March, the virus was spreading among migrant workers living in crowded dormitories. Over 50,000 of the country's cumulative 53,051 infections have been recorded among dorm residents.

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