US raises Covid-19 travel alert for S’pore to the maximum highest risk level

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The United States has raised its Covid-19 danger level for Singapore by yet another notch, CNN reported.

On Oct. 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) raised Singapore’s risk level to the highest level, “Very High“, and suggested that travel to Singapore should be avoided.

The CDC added: “Because of the current situation in Singapore, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants.”

The move comes in the wake of Singapore’s announcement that the U.S. is one of eight countries which the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme has been extended to, starting from Oct. 19.

Danger level raised twice in a month

The CDC’s move means that the danger level for Singapore has been raised twice in a month.

Earlier on Sep. 27, Singapore’s danger level was raised from “Moderate” to “High”, with Singapore reporting more than 1,000 cases a day since the middle of September, its largest outbreak since April 2020.

Beginning from Sep. 28, Singapore has been reporting more than 2,000 cases per day.

According to the CDC website, the threshold for reaching Level 4 is more than 500 cases per 100,000 people in the local population, for the past 28 days.

Data from John Hopkins University showed that Singapore has recorded 72,010 cases over the past 28 days, while the U.S. has recorded over 2.75 million cases in the same period.

CDC: Fully vaxxed travellers from U.S. do not need to get tested before entering Singapore

With regard to travel recommendations, the CDC stated that fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S. do not need to get tested, unless required by the destination.

However, U.S. citizens and vaccinated travellers entering the U.S. from Singapore are required to either have a negative Covid-19 test result no more than three days before travel, or documentation of recovery from Covid-19 in the past three months before they board a flight to the U.S.

They do not need to self-quarantine once arriving in the U.S., although they should get tested within three to five days.

U.S. has been pushing Singapore to let Americans enter

On Oct. 5,  Bloomberg reported that American officials had been pushing Singapore to allow Americans to enter with the same lack of restrictions for travellers from the city-state to the U.S.

Unnamed officials were quoted as saying that a travel lane with the U.S. should be prioritised by Singapore given the trade and investment ties between the two countries.

The officials also added that the measures were stifling businesses and causing American expatriates to be emotionally distressed.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport was quoted at that time as saying that Singapore had adopted a “cautious, calibrated step-by-step approach” in reopening borders and that its discussions with countries such as the U.S. on resuming travel was subject to public health considerations.

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Top photo by Andrew Haha Lee via Unsplash