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People pose for photos at the Merlion Park in Singapore. Photo: EPA-EFE

Singapore to allow travellers from Taiwan to enter from December 18

  • Singapore will permit visitors from Taiwan to enter as long as they test negative for Covid-19 at the border
  • Visitors must be in Taiwan 14 days before flying to Singapore, and they must download and use Singapore’s tracing app TraceTogether
Singapore on Friday announced it would lift border restrictions for travellers from Taiwan next week and permit them to visit the country as long as they get a negative result for Covid-19 in a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival.
Visitors can now apply for a single-entry Air Travel Pass (ATP) to enter Singapore from next Friday, the Civil Aviation Authority said, adding that the travellers must be in Taiwan for 14 consecutive days before departure.

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Travellers from Taiwan must also download and use Singapore’s contact-tracing app TraceTogether, and continue to keep the app on their phones for two weeks after leaving the city state.

The Civil Aviation Authority said the visitors would be responsible for any coronavirus-related medical treatment while in Singapore.

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Singapore has made testing a pillar of its strategy to gradually reopen its borders that have been largely shut for most of 2020.

The city state is hosting the World Economic Forum in May next year and has said safety protocols will include on-arrival tests, as well as pre-event and periodic antigen testing.

On Thursday, Singapore approved Advanced MedTech Holdings’ Covid-19 kit for use in testing saliva from deep within the throat, the company said, as the country looks to ramp up testing to help reopen its borders and resume more economic activity.

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The test is the first of its type to receive approval from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority, Advanced MedTech, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore state investor Temasek, said in a statement on Thursday.

Patients will need to draw out saliva from deep within their throat and spit into a specimen bottle for the test, Advanced MedTech said.

This would make specimen collection much less invasive and more comfortable for patients than the current method of collection through swabs inserted into the back of the nose or throat, it said.

Hong Kong and Taiwan are among the other places in the world that have been using deep-throat saliva samples to test for the coronavirus.

The new Singapore tests, which will be used in Changi Airport in 2021, were able to accurately identify all the known positive cases in clinical studies, the company said.