channelnewsasia– Singapore will suspend reciprocal green lane (RGL) arrangements with Malaysia, Germany, South Korea for three months from Monday (Feb 1).
In a statement released on Saturday morning (Jan 30), Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said: “The Government of Singapore regularly reviews its border measures to manage the risk of importation and onward local transmission of COVID-19 from travellers.
“Given the resurgence of COVID-19 cases worldwide, the Government of Singapore will be suspending the Reciprocal Green Lane arrangements with Germany, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea, for a period of three months beginning from Monday, 1 February 2021, 0001hrs.
“The Government of Singapore will review the Reciprocal Green Lane arrangements at the end of the suspension period. Travellers who have already been approved to enter Singapore under these Reciprocal Green Lanes can continue to do so,” the statement added.
MFA added that the Singapore Government will continue to monitor the global situation and adjust border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community.
“Any changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Travellers are advised to visit the website to check for the most updated border measures,” it said.
Singapore still has ongoing RGL schemes with Brunei and selected cities in mainland China – Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang.
Singapore earlier suspended RGL arrangements with Indonesia and Japan in December when the two countries announced temporary bans on the entry of foreign nationals (Indonesia) and non-resident foreign nationals (Japan).
Given the reciprocal nature of the arrangement, travellers from Indonesia and Japan are also not allowed to apply for travel to Singapore under the RGL.
The RGL arrangement allow residents of countries in the scheme to conduct short-term travel for essential business and official purposes in Singapore for up to 14 days.
Travellers must test negative for COVID-19 before they travel and undergo another test on arrival. They must remain isolated until test results are released and are required to follow a controlled itinerary for the duration of their stay.
SURGE IN CASES
Malaysia has logged four-digit daily increases in COVID-19 cases since Dec 9. On Friday, it reported a record 5,725 new infections, taking the national tally to 203,933.
Meanwhile, South Korea has also reported recent surge in cases involving Christian mission schools nationwide, reaching 344 infections in total in seven facilities as of Friday. The outbreaks have delayed any easing of social distancing measures ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.
As of midnight on Thursday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 469 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national tally to 77,395 cases and 1,399 deaths.
Germany reported 17,553 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 2,178,828, and another 941 deaths. The seven-day incidence rate fell under 100 cases per 100,000 for the first time since the end of October 2020 but the German government wants it to drop below 50.
Apart from the green lane, another cross-border travel scheme is the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) Singapore has with Malaysia.
Under the PCA, approved travellers must have stayed in their country of employment for at least 90 days before returning to their home country for short-term leave.
This is open to Malaysians who are Singapore permanent residents working in Singapore, as well as citizens and permanent residents of both countries who hold long-term immigration passes in the other country.
PCA travellers have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility in Singapore.