S’pore Tightens Border Restrictions For 7 African Countries, Cites New Covid-19 Variant Concerns

S’pore Tightens Border Restrictions For 7 African Countries On 26 Nov

Although Singapore is aiming to open her borders more with every passing day, she also has a duty to protect citizens from evolved forms of the Covid-19 virus.

On Friday (26 Nov), the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued an advisory stating that travellers from 7 African countries will no longer be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.


This ruling also applies to those who have obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore, as well as those who’ve been to the countries in the past 14 days.

MOH further cited concerns about the emergence of B.1.1.529, a new Covid-19 variant that’s in circulation. Here’s a summary of what these new restrictions entail.

Travellers from 7 African countries can’t enter Singapore from 27 Nov

As reported by The Straits Times (ST), Singapore will be restricting the entry of travellers from 7 African countries after a new variant of Covid-19 was discovered circulating in these nations.

The 7 African countries included in these new restrictions are as follows:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

The restrictions will come into effect from 11.59pm on Saturday (27 Nov). Travellers from the abovementioned countries will no longer be able to enter or transit through Singapore.

Those who’ve obtained approval for entry into Singapore prior to the new rules, will also be barred entry if they’ve visited any of the listed countries within the past 2 weeks.

MOH confirmed that these restrictions will only be in place for 4 weeks, at which point a review will be held.

Border restrictions are due to a new Covid variant

In relation to the B.1.1.529 Covid-19 variant, the MOH has declared that there are currently no cases involving the strain in Singapore.

There’s also insufficient evidence regarding aspects of the new variant, claimed MOH in ST’s report.

As studies continue, the Singaporean government will consider reviewing the border measures.

According to ST, the new variant has been the root cause for the spike in cases in South Africa. Daily cases in the country have increased tenfold since the start of the month.

Singapore opts for a proactive approach

Many unknown variables remain when we consider the impact of this new Covid-19 variant, but we are heartened to see the Singapore government taking a proactive approach.

Hopefully, the studies regarding this new variant will bear some fruit. Travellers can then make an informed decision about their next steps.

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Featured image adapted from S Iswaran on Facebook.

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