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The relaxation of social measures will be paused, and travellers entering Singapore will face stricter rules from 11.59pm on Thursday (Dec 2), as the country acts to buy time amid the spread of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant around the world.
The moves come as Singapore works to assess the implications of the new Covid-19 variant that has already spread to at least 16 countries, after the variant was identified in South Africa last week.
Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, weighs in on these new developments.
Overseas, Hong Kong has banned non-residents from entering the city from four African countries and plans to expand that to travellers who have been to Australia, Canada, Israel and six European countries in the past 21 days due to fears over Omicron.
India is also reimposing Covid-19 restrictions, including a seven-day home quarantine, on 12 economies including Singapore from Wednesday (Dec 1).
Passengers travelling or transiting from these at-risk countries will have to undergo post-arrival testing – quarantine if tested negative, or stringent isolation protocols if tested positive.
Also in the news, dining options have expanded, with up to five vaccinated people now able to eat in a group at 102 hawker centres from Tuesday (Nov 30), up from 32 on Monday.
Eight more hawker centres undergoing repairs and redecoration, or spring cleaning, will join the list when they reopen, said the National Environment Agency.