I decided to return to Singapore to be with my husband, and I knew there would be COVID restrictions. However, many travelers consider the requirements for getting into the country but not the restrictions once in the country. In the US, COVID restrictions pale
in comparison to the US. Here are a few realities of COVID restrictions in Singapore.
It is only recently, November 2021, that the Singapore government has allowed more than two people to gather. Previously a household could have only two visitors a day and only dine in pairs. This restriction meant that a family of four dining out would have to sit at two tables. Yes, that’s correct; even a family could not dine out with more than two people at a table.
Every person over six years is required to wear a mask in Singapore. The government has deployed enforcement officers around the island to ensure the wearing of masks.
People not complying with the mask mandate can get a $300. fine on their first offense. Repeat offenders can get a fine of up to $1000. or be prosecuted by the courts.
People in Singapore are required to maintain safe distancing when in public. The government has deployed safe distancing ambassadors who ensure that groups do not gather in more than the rules allow. They also provide distancing guidance when there are long lines/queues. Fines are similar to the regulations for mask compliance, $300 for the first offense and second offenders $1000.
Malls and public spaces.
As of October 2021, all people must be vaccinated to enter a mall or public space. Of course, they are exceptions, but those with exceptions have to show proof before entering the mall. In many cases, security guards also help to monitor and maintain compliance.
Trace together app.
All these safety measures are made more accessible by the trace together app. People must have this app on their phones or have a government-provided token with their information to access public spaces. The app allows the government to enforce contact tracing and quickly notify people if they have been exposed to COVID or had contact with someone with COVID.
Upon arrival in Singapore, I had some issues verifying the vaccination status on my trace together app. As a result, I could not go out in public, even to get a cup of coffee until I could resolve the situation. I had to take a serology blood test to verify my vaccination status and have it confirmed by the government. These measures might seem quite limiting for many, but Singapore has better handled COVID situations much more effectively than in other countries.
Travelers should be aware of the requirements to get into the country they are traveling to, in addition to any restrictions they may face once in the country. Have you experienced any unexpected COVID rules while traveling? I’d like to know.