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  • Writer's pictureTania Wee

Australia and Singapore implements 14 days self-isolation on travellers to tackle COVID-19

Australia is the latest country in the Asia Pacific region to announce strict Covid-19 (coronavirus) measures on March 15 , with new requirements that all arrivals from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days.

"To help stay ahead of this curve, we will impose a universal self-isolation requirement on all arrivals to Australia and it is effective from midnight tonight," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press conference in Sydney."It's legal enforcement... If your mate has been to Bali and they come back and they turn up at work and they are sitting next to you, they will be committing an offence," Australia's decision comes a day after New Zealand announced the same measures, in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said were "the widest-ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world."

This basically means that even if you're going to Australia for a 3 days trip, you will need to self-isolate yourself in the country for 14 days, risking forgoing flight tickets and leaves.

Australia will also ban all cruise ships from arriving at its ports for an initial 30 days.

Singapore has issued a similar travel restriction for people entering Singapore with a recent travel history to ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland or the United Kingdom. Taking effect on 16 March at 11:59pm, this applies to all travellers including Singapore residents, long-term pass holders and short-term visitors, said Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday.

However, this does not apply to Singaporeans and Malaysians using sea and land crossings with separate arrangements currently being worked out by a bilateral joint working group with Malaysia. Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week said the outbreak had reached the level of a global pandemic, countries around the world have been introducing stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus. There are now over 152,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to WHO figures released on 15 March.

Source: Asian News Network. The Star, World Health Organisation

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