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Singapore to block entry to visitors from South Africa

SINGAPORE (Jan 1): Singapore said on Friday it will stop allowing entry to visitors with a recent travel history to South Africa, citing reports of a potentially more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus circulating in the country.

All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with travel history to South Africa within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into the city-state, or transit through it, the health ministry said.

Returning Singapore citizens and permanent residents will be required to undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival at the start of a 14-day quarantine.

“While the strain has been suggested to be more transmissible, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine if this strain is associated with any change in disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy,” the ministry said.

These aspects are being investigated, and the ministry said it will evaluate the data as it emerges and review border measures accordingly.

The new border restrictions will be in place from Jan. 4.

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