Singapore is now preventing almost anyone from entering, as nations across the region also implement stricter measures against travel.

A plane flies over downtown Singapore's skyline with a ferry on the river below.
Singapore has opted to close its once extremely open economy in a bid to stop the virus © Sakdawut Tangtongsap/Shutterstock

All tourism is now banned from Singapore, as it continues to further escalate its campaign to contain the coronavirus. Singapore has taken very strict measures – including banning gatherings of more than ten people – in recent weeks, with great success. Incidences of COVID-19 have been relatively small: just two Singaporeans have died from the respiratory illness.

The ban also applies to transit journeys, meaning that that anyone travelling cannot transfer flights through the country - including at Changi Airport, which has repeatedly been named the best airport in the world and is a major transit hub. Other parts of Asia are taking stricter measures as the region further ramps up its efforts to stop the pandemic. As of last week, tourists are also banned from entering Vietnam.

Many people who held a work permit to enter Singapore will also be turned away. The country will now only allow those who work in "essential services", such as transport and healthcare, to enter for work reasons. Any person entering must also self-isolate in their place of residence for at least two weeks without leaving for any reason. This applies to their dependents as well, and includes trips outside to buy groceries.   

“If necessary, they may opt for home delivery services or enlist the assistance of others for their daily necessities,” a statement on the Singaporean government’s website read. 

The Rain Vortex inside the Jewel Changi Airport at night.
Changi Airport is usually among the busiest in the world © Travel man/Shutterstock

“…They should minimise contact with others, monitor their health closely, and observe good personal hygiene.”   

Such strict measures are likely to have a significant impact of the Singaporean economy, which has historically been open. It is unclear how long the ban will continue for. 

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here. 

Find out more: 
Lockdowns and travel bans: which countries have COVID-19 restrictions
Travelers stuck abroad due to coronavirus share their stories
Coronavirus dispatches: writers around Europe share their experiences 

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