SINGAPORE: The latest border restrictions announced on Sunday (Mar 15) for travellers arriving from ASEAN countries will not affect the supply of food and other essentials between Singapore and Malaysia, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Sunday.

This is because the restrictions do not apply to Singaporeans and Malaysians using land and sea crossings with Malaysia, and drivers of vehicles transporting such goods will still be able to enter Singapore as per normal, said Mr Chan in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Mr Chan’s comments came after the Ministry of Health announced that with effect from 11.59pm on Monday, anyone entering Singapore with recent travel to ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland or the United Kingdom will be issued with a 14-day stay-home notice. They will also have to provide proof of where they will serve out the notice.

In addition, all short-term visitors who are ASEAN nationals will have to submit their health information to the Singapore Overseas Mission in their country of residence before the intended date of travel. The submission will have to be approved by Singapore’s Ministry of Health before they are allowed to come to Singapore.

READ: COVID-19: Stay-home notices for all travellers entering Singapore from ASEAN countries, Japan, UK, Switzerland

NEW MEASURES NECESSARY TO KEEP SYSTEM FROM BECOMING OVERWHELMED

The new measures, said Mr Chan in his Facebook post, are to ensure that the “healthcare system does not get overwhelmed by people entering Singapore for the sole purpose of seeking treatment”.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely as it develops globally,” said Mr Chan.

Singapore reported 39 new cases between Friday and Sunday, of which nearly three-quarters are imported cases.

Fourteen new cases were reported on Sunday – nine of which were imported cases – taking the country’s total number of COVID-19 infections to 226.

READ: COVID-19: Entry approval, stay-home notices for all new, returning foreign domestic workers to Singapore

READ: Universities, polytechnics suspend overseas placements as Singapore widens border restrictions

Some people have travelled to Singapore with the “specific purpose of seeking medical care” in Singapore, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Sunday.

The Government’s priority during this time is to ensure that Singapore’s healthcare resources are focused on helping Singaporeans. As such, the decision was made to expand travel restrictions, he said.

However, the restrictions will not apply to ​​​​​​​Singaporeans and Malaysians using land and sea crossings with Malaysia due to Singapore’s proximity to its neighbour.

READ: Bukit Merah pre-school to close for 2 weeks after teacher contracts COVID-19

“Singaporean and Malaysian workers who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily will still be able to do so,” said Mr Chan in his Facebook post.

“The latest restrictions will also not have an impact on the supply of food and other essentials between Singapore and Malaysia as drivers of goods vehicles will be able to enter as per normal,” he added.

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