Singapore To Restrict All Travelers Coming From China

Credit: Changi Airport Group

SINGAPORE—The Singapore government has enhanced efforts to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus by preventing all passengers who have traveled to China in the last two weeks from entering the country, regardless of nationality. 

The ban also covers transiting passengers.

The restrictions will become effective 11:59 p.m. Feb. 1 local time and Singapore’s status as a visa-free transit facility will be suspended for Chinese passports. Travel restrictions initially cover Chinese citizens with passports issued in the Hubei province. 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will disseminate the information to all airlines to ensure a “smooth implementation.” While the restriction is not a ban on flights to and from China, CAAS is unsure how major airlines will react to the move. Singapore’s LCC Scoot, which flies the only connection between Wuhan and Singapore, has suspended all flights to China. 

Returning Singaporeans will be forced to take a 14-day leave of absence. Cabin crew flying to China will not be subjected to the new rule, but respective airlines must take precautionary measures in consultation with the health ministry.

The move comes after the island state reported its 13th confirmed case of the coronavirus and more than 9,000 cases in China, with a high risk of widespread community transmission in other parts of China. The World Health Organization has classified the coronavirus as a global health emergency.

Vietnam’s largest LCC, VietJet Air, has also suspended all flights to China from Feb. 1 until the end of March. 

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.