Travel restrictions are being tightened across many parts of Asia as countries work to contain new virus variants and blooming clusters.
Singapore, amid a flare-up of Covid-19 clusters, is imposing longer quarantines from the existing 14 days to 21 days for all visitors with recent travel history to higher-risk destinations. Only travellers from Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will be exempted to do a three-week quarantine at dedicated facilities.
With the latest move, Singapore now joins Hong Kong in the move to require a three-week isolation requirement for inbound travellers.
Meanwhile, travellers flying in from destinations with known mutations of the Covid virus, such as from Britain, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and South Africa are required to serve a mandatory 21-day quarantine.
Social distancing rules are now stricter on the ground. Changes include cutting gathering sizes from eight to five people, while tour group sizes will be reduced from 50 to 20. All live performances and events can no longer accept 750 guests, now only 250 are allowed with pre-event testing required if there are more than 100 in attendance.
These latest measures, expected to be in place for the period of 8-30 May, could put a cloud over the upcoming travel bubble agreement with Hong Kong -- which is set to launch on 26 May -- as well as the potential travel corridor with Australia.
Singapore is not the only one in the region facing a sudden renewed Covid battle, as countries from Bhutan to Laos are also reporting spikes in infections in recent weeks.
Thailand has also reintroduced a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all visitors, while Nepal has already stopped all domestic and international flights, in a bid to curb its abrupt spike in cases to a 22,000% increase just over the last month, said a Straits Times report.