Update on COVID-19 on 20 Mar 2020

20 Mar 2020

I hope that all of you and your families are keeping healthy, and adhering to the local advisories from US state and city governments on the COVID-19 crisis. You should continue to monitor the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US State Department. On 19 March 2020, the State Department issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel Global Health Advisory, advising US citizens including those living abroad to avoid all international travel. US citizens who are abroad but normally resident in the US have been advised to arrange for immediate return unless they were prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

2       Given the latest developments, you should expect travel to be disrupted and commercial airlines to reduce or cancel domestic and international flights. Hence, if Overseas Singaporeans in the US are planning to return to Singapore in the near future, you should finalise your travel plans urgently. This note from the Singapore Global Network (SGN) highlights the important things to take note of before flying home to Singapore.

3       Additional Precautionary Measures for Entry into Singapore. Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) has implemented additional precautionary measures to reduce the risk of further importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. MOH’s press release of 18 March 2020 can be found here. These measures are:

  • Singaporeans are advised to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect.
  • All Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long Term Pass holders and short term visitors entering Singapore will be issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN.
  • Non-Singaporean short-term visitors who have visited Mainland China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea and Spain in the last 14 days will continue to be suspended from entering or transiting in Singapore. There are also health clearance forms for short-term visitors who are ASEAN nationals.

4       Singapore Students in US. The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has issued an advisory on 17 March 2020 encouraging Singaporean students studying overseas to return home soon. You can contact your educational institutions, student associations or SGN (hello@singaporeglobalnetwork.sg) for guidance. Please also refer to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website (https://www.ice.gov/covid19) on non-immigrant students for more information.

5       If you choose to remain in the US, please heed the advice of local authorities, have the contact number of your medical care provider handy and ensure you have the necessary health coverage. Please keep in touch with your families in Singapore to update them on your situation.

6       Message from SIA. We would like to share with you the following message from Singapore Airlines regarding SQ flights from the US to Singapore.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will do its best to assist Singaporeans currently in the United States in securing flights to Singapore from our East and West Coast gateways. Priority will be extended to students first.

As the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, all students are encouraged to finalize their travel plans as soon as possible according to the following guidelines:

  • If you do not yet have a Singapore Airlines ticket, please select* from Economy Class travel options from SEA, SFO and LAX.
  • Premium Economy travel is available from EWR.
  • If you are holding a Singapore Airlines ticket for departure through 31 March 2020 (even if your flight has been cancelled), please retain your ticket and contact us as soon as possible. We will work with you to arrange rebooking on another SIA flight or for a new date of travel.
  • If you are holding a Singapore Airlines ticket issued for travel from 1 April 2020, please retain your ticket and contact us as soon as possible with your preferred flight details.

To contact us, please email usasin_students@singaporeair.com.sg with further details (passenger name, ticket number & local contact number). One of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.

* do check singaporeair.com for latest updates on available flights

7       The Singapore Embassy continues to monitor the rapidly evolving situation closely. We are guided by advice from the US authorities, and are ready to provide consular assistance when required. Embassy staff can be contacted 24 hrs a day at 202-537-3100. For regular email updates from SGN, please sign up at http://go.gov.sg/sgn-covidupdates. If you know of Singaporeans who have yet to e-Register, please encourage them to do so through the MFA e-Register to be included in the mailing list for future updates. This will also enable us to contact and render necessary assistance during an emergency. For Singaporeans who are unable to eRegister due to issues with their SingPass, they can access this online form in the interim to be included in our email updates ERegister Form (Singapore Embassy in Washington DC). This message will also be posted on the Singapore Embassy’s website as well as Facebook and Twitter.

8       Please take care under the current circumstances.

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