Singapore Tightens COVID-19 Restrictions After Detecting Variants

Singapore announced on May 4 stricter border measures and tighter restrictions on social gatherings after recording new COVID-19 cases, including variants of the virus.

The health ministry announced stricter border measures in an effort to curb transmission of variants from travelers starting from May 7 after recording a total of 17 new cases — five local and 12 imported — on May 4.

“Given the possible increased transmissibility of the new virus variants, it is necessary to take tighter measures reflective of the heightened alert to mitigate the risk of further transmission in Singapore,” the health ministry said in a statement.

Under the measures, all travelers from higher risk countries will be required to undergo quarantine for 21 days in designated facilities.

“We are adopting this more stringent border measure up until the end of May. Beyond at that time, we will do a further review depending on the global situation and the local situation. And we will continue to update and fine-tune our border measures,” COVID-19 Multi-Ministry Task Force Co-Chair Lawrence Wong said at a press conference.

The health ministry also announced “safe management measures” that will take effect from May 8 through May 30.

Under the measures, social gatherings, including household visits, will be limited from eight individuals to five.

The number of attendees of events, including weddings and live performances, and venues, including museums and public libraries, will also be reduced.

Indoor gymnasiums and fitness studios will also be closed.

“If we do all of this well, then we can control the spread of the infection in our community,” Wong said.

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