Airport and Border Frontline Workers to Undergo Regular Testing as Precaution Against New Virus Variant, Omicron

All incoming travelers must also take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival.
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 30 Nov 2021

Airport and other border frontline workers who may come into contact with travelers from Omicron-affected regions will have to perform weekly Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Rostered Routine Testing from 2 December 2021.

Omicron is a newly discovered COVID-19 variant that has emerged out of South Africa.

The launch of the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) with countries that serve as transport nodes to the current 13 affected countries and regions, including South Africa, Germany and the Netherlands, have also been deferred as of 28 November 2021.

The Government made the announcement on 30 November 2021.

Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said that the Multi-Ministry Taskforce is closely monitoring the new variant.

“We have not detected this new variant among local cases yet, it is only a matter of time before it will arrive in Singapore,” he said.

Testing Border Frontline Workers

All border frontline workers, including recovered persons, will need to undergo routine testing.

For aircrew serving flights from Omicron affected regions, they will be subjected to an on-arrival PCR test, and post-arrival PCR tests on the third and seventh day following each flight duty.

Other airport and border frontline workers will continue with Antigen Rapid Test-based (ART) Rostered Routine Testing .

Individuals with a positive ART will have to undergo a confirmatory PCR test.

Testing All Incoming Travelers

The Government will enhance its testing protocols for travelers arriving in Singapore after 2 December 2021, 11.59pm local time.

These enhanced measures will be valid for four weeks and will be reviewed and extended if necessary.

On 3 December 2021, all air travelers entering or transiting through Singapore must undergo a Pre-Departure Test (PDT) within two days of their departure for Singapore and obtain a negative result.

This includes travelers from Category I countries or regions Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China and Taiwan.

Travelers from Category II (non-Vaccinated Travel Lane), III and IV countries such as the United States of America and Australia and must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test on-arrival.

From 3 December 2021, air travelers on the VTLs will also have to undergo additional supervised self-administered ART at a Quick Test Centre on the third and seventh day after their arrival.

The Ministry of Health says that these measures will enable Singapore to minimise importation and allow prompt detection and isolation of Omicron cases.