All Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) who are overseas must present a negative Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction test result before they are allowed to depart for Singapore from May 29, 2021.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced this updated travel requirement on May 26, 2021, citing a worsening global situation, with emergence of new and potentially more infectious variants.
Previously, MOH did not require Singapore citizens and PRs who are overseas to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before flying back to Singapore.
MOH said that it did not want to make it difficult for citizens and PRs to return home quickly, should they be caught unprepared by the rapidly deteriorating pandemic conditions abroad.
"We have put in place advisories on overseas travel for some time now, and SCs and PRs abroad would have had more time to manage the risks of Covid-19 in the countries that they are in."
This new travel requirement will kick in from May 29, 11:59pm.
Only those who have stayed in lower-risk countries or regions — namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macao — throughout the last 21 days before departure for Singapore are exempted from this requirement.
Those returning from lower-risk countries or regions will have to:
- take a Covid-19 test upon arrival in lieu of a Stay Home Notice (SHN), or
- serve a seven-day SHN at their place of residence, and take a Covid-19 test at the end of the SHN.
Travellers who arrive in Singapore without a valid negative test result may be denied entry into Singapore.
PRs and long-term pass holders who fail to comply with the new requirement may have their permit or pass cancelled.
The ministry added that Singaporeans who test positive for Covid-19 while overseas and require urgent medical care in Singapore can still return to Singapore via a medevac flight or other equivalent forms of conveyance.
MOH said that changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website.