Coronavirus effect: Singapore bars all visitors from China  

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 31, 2020

Travel restrictions come into effect from Saturday

Singapore will officially close its borders for mainland Chinese travellers  in light of the coronavirus outbreak, according to media reports.

In the first South-East Asian country to bar visitors from China, the travel restrictions will come into effect at 11:59 pm on Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported.

The restrictions will also be imposed on foreign travellers who have been in mainland China over the past 14 days. 

The move is meant to curb the effects of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. As of now, Singapore has 13 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. All these patients are travellers from Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province,  the epicentre of the outbreak. 

The Singapore government, on Wednesday, had announced its decision to stop the entry of travellers who have visited the Hubei province. The restrictions will now cover all of mainland China. 

Singapore residents and citizens will still be able to enter the borders but will be subject to a 14-day leave where they are advised to remain indoors, the report said.

Economic impact

The move is bound to hurt the island nation’s economy as it is one of the most preferred tourist destinations for Chinese travellers, especially around the time of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Singapore had over 3.4 million visitors from China in 2018, according to a report by the Singapore Tourism Board. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the outbreak a global health emergency in a press conference on Thursday. 

Multiple airlines in the US, Europe and Asia have already cancelled flights to China in the light of the outbreak, including IndiGo and Air India. 

There have been over 9,800 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. The epidemic has claimed 213 lives in China alone, according to reports. 

India confirmed its first confirmed case of coronavirus on Thursday. An Air India flight has been dispatched to China to airlift Indian nationals out of Wuhan. 

Published on January 31, 2020

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