Singapore enhances security measures at airport as Omicron spreads abroad


Singapore has enhanced security measures for all airport staff who work together with arriving passengers on the Changi Airport right here amidst the fast unfold of the Omicron variant abroad, the nation’s civil aviation authority stated on Wednesday.

In line with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), airport staff who work together with passengers, even these in public areas just like the taxi stand, should don enhanced private protecting gear, together with N95 masks and face shields.

“We’re choosing up extra Omicron instances due to the fast unfold of the variant throughout many international locations/areas. To this point, our enhanced testing regime for travellers has helped us to detect 65 confirmed Omicron instances,” the Ministry of Well being (MOH) stated.

The transfer will assist restrict Singapore’s publicity to imported Omicron COVID-19 instances, the Channel Information Asia quoted the MOH as saying.

All frontline staff will even be topic to a stricter testing regime. They’ll “minimally” be positioned on seven-day polymerase chain response (PCR) rostered routine testing (RRT), as a substitute of the present seven-day antigen fast take a look at (ART) RRT cycle, stated the authority.

Singapore air crew will endure an “enhanced” seven-day PCR RRT regime, “with an employer-supervised ART on the third day of the cycle”, it stated.

CAAS’ announcement comes on the identical day the MOH introduced that each one new ticket gross sales for vaccinated journey lane (VTL) flights and buses (going to neighbouring Peninsular Malaysia) will likely be frozen from December 23 to January 20 subsequent yr.

All travellers who already maintain a ticket on a VTL flight or bus and meet all different VTL necessities can proceed to journey below the quarantine-free journey scheme.

The MOH will even quickly cut back the VTL quotas and ticket gross sales for journey after January 20, 2022.

In an announcement, the Ministry of Commerce and Business (MTI) stated that it might quickly cut back the capability and ticket gross sales for journey into Singapore or Malaysia by way of VTL (Land by bus) from January 21, 2022 by half – the equal of 24 one-way bus rides per day.

The MTI stated it might proceed to observe the scenario carefully and modify the VTL (Land) capability, making an allowance for the general public well being scenario in each international locations and globally.

New VTL (Land) bus tickets won’t be offered for journey into Singapore or Malaysia from 11.59 PM on December 22, 2021, to 11.59 PM on January 20, 2022. The land VTL between the 2 international locations was launched on November 29, 2021.

“With aggressive contact tracing and ringfencing measures, we have now, for now, been in a position to restrict onward neighborhood transmission. However it’s a matter of time earlier than the Omicron variant spreads in our neighborhood,” the MTI stated.

Singapore’s border measures will assist to purchase the nation time to check and perceive the Omicron variant, and to strengthen its defences, together with enhancing its healthcare capability, and getting extra individuals vaccinated and boosted, it stated.

In the meantime, Singapore reported 280 new COVID-19 instances and two fatalities as of midday on Tuesday, in accordance with the Channel report.

Among the many new instances, 221 instances are from the local people, 5 from migrant staff’ dormitories and 54 imported or these arriving right here.

Seventy-one of those infections have been confirmed to be Omicron instances, stated the MOH. These are 65 imported instances and 6 native infections.

As of Tuesday, Singapore has recorded 276,385 COVID-19 instances and 817 deaths associated to coronavirus for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

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