1. In view of the surge in the number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Korea, particularly in Daegu city and Cheongdo county, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will put in place further precautionary measures to limit the risk that travellers from these affected regions pose to Singapore.
2. As of 25 February 2020, 12pm, the Republic of Korea has reported 893 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. These include 501 cases linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, and 113 from Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo. 246 cases are currently under investigation and are not linked to either cluster. Daegu and Cheongdo have been designated as “special care zones”. The Republic of Korea government has raised the alert level to the highest level of ‘serious’, and has aggressively strengthened its response system to reduce the risk of further transmission.
3. With the rapidly evolving situation in these regions, visitors and returning travellers from Daegu and Cheongdo pose a heightened risk to Singapore. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has decided to step up precautionary measures to limit the potential risk this group poses to Singapore, based on the current risk assessment.
New visitors with travel history to Daegu and Cheongdo
4. From 26 February 2020, 2359 hours, all new visitors with recent travel history to Daegu and Cheongdo within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore.
Returning residents and long-term pass holders placed on Stay-Home Notice
5. The following returning groups will be issued with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN):
a) Residents (Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents) with recent travel history to Daegu and Cheongdo within the last 14 days; and
b) Long-term pass holders (including work passes and permits, Student’s Pass, Dependant’s Pass, and Long-term Visit Pass) with recent travel history to Daegu and Cheongdo within the last 14 days.
Under the SHN, they will have to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period after returning to Singapore.
6. As announced on 23 February, the Ministry of Health (MOH) advises travellers to avoid non-essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo. The public are also reminded to continue to exercise caution when travelling to the rest of the Republic of Korea.
7. MOH has already expanded the definition of suspect cases to include persons with pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness who had been to Daegu and/or Cheongdo of the Republic of Korea, within 14 days before onset of symptoms. Cases meeting the expanded definition will be referred to hospitals for further assessment.
8. The previously announced travel advisory for Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei Province and all non-essential travel to Mainland China, as well as measures on Hubei travellers and returning residents from Hubei, remain in place.
9. MOH will continue to monitor the situation closely. The Taskforce stands ready to put in place further measures as the situation evolves.
10. All travellers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore and seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell. Travellers should inform their doctor of their travel history. If they have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.
11. Travellers and members of the public should adopt the following precautions at all times:
12. Given the evolving situation and ongoing investigations in the Republic of Korea, Singapore residents who need to travel to the affected areas are advised to regularly check MOH’s website (www.moh.gov.sg) for updates. Travellers to the Republic of Korea are also advised to stay vigilant, monitor developments and heed the advice of the local authorities while in the Republic of Korea.