SINGAPORE: Amid a COVID-19 outbreak that has prompted various countries to issue travel advisories, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) has cancelled a fair scheduled for May and will “decide in due course” whether to do the same for another event later this year.

The association typically organises two massive travel fairs a year – one in February or March and the second in August or September.

It had planned to hold its first travel fair for the year last month but decided to postpone it to early-May due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

In a statement on Wednesday (Mar 18), NATAS said it is now cancelling the event after carefully considering recent developments, which include travel advisories issued by Singapore and other countries, public health risk assessment and an uncertain travel sentiment.

A “vast majority” of participating vendors were in favour of cancelling the event, it said, adding that it will offer a full rental refund to those vendors.

NATAS is also reviewing the status of the travel fair scheduled in August.

“(We) will decide in due course if we should call for a postponement or cancellation of the fair,” the statement said.

READ: Singaporeans advised to defer all travel abroad amid heightened risk of imported COVID-19 cases

READ: COVID-19 cases in Singapore reach 313 with 47 new infections, 33 imported

The travel industry is among those hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, as tourists stay away and locals cut back on overseas travel.

Authorities have urged Singaporeans to defer all travel abroad amid a heightened risk of importing COVID-19 cases into the country.

It was also announced on Wednesday that all Singaporeans, permanent residents, long-term pass holders and short-term visitors entering Singapore from 11.59pm on Friday will be issued a 14-day stay-home notice.

Singapore reported a new daily high of 47 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 313.

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