Singapore is dropping all COVID-19-related restrictions as of April 26. This is good news for casinos, which will now be able to welcome gamblers without any hassle.
Since February 2020, Singapore has been following strict COVID-19 controls under the Minister of Health’s “code orange” status. This included reduced capacities, regular temperature checks in the workplace, travel restrictions, and more. Come April 26, almost all of it is going away.
The country will continue under “code yellow.” But it is still a major step forward, according to The Strait Times. There will no longer be distancing and capacity limitations, and businesses can bring back their entire workforces. Casinos will also benefit, as international travel restrictions are disappearing.
Singapore Returning to Normalcy
COVID-19 upset economic activity around the globe. A number of planned projects had to be put on hold, as revenue dropped to recession levels. Singapore’s integrated resorts, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, suffered tremendous losses.
As of next Tuesday, the gambling properties, as well as other commercial businesses in Singapore, can start to heal. COVID-19 vaccination status checks will disappear at many establishments (this doesn’t apply to large nightclubs).
Singapore will lift capacity restrictions for large events as of next Tuesday. Although masks are still necessary in many indoor facilities, they become optional at most workplaces.
Our social resilience is strong and now we are in a comfortable position. We can therefore afford to take further steps to reinstall pre-Covid-19 normalcy,” explains Singapore Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Although the news is welcome by everyone, the Health Minister urges caution. He warns that the lifting of restrictions doesn’t mean that Singapore won’t bring them back if there is a resurgence of COVID-19.
The number of new COVID-19 cases is declining. On March 29, according to Johns Hopkins University data, there were 13,089 new cases. That fell to 5,729 the following day, and has stayed at around that level, or lower, since. There were a couple of spikes, including 9,675 on April 5. But on April 21, the number was down to 3,420.
Singapore reportedly has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. The Straits Times indicates that over 96% of the “eligible population” is fully vaccinated.
International Travel Back to Normal
Inbound travelers will now have an easier time getting into Singapore. Fully-vaccinated individuals will not need to take a COVID-19 test before arriving as of April 26. Previously, all incoming travelers had to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or an approved antigen rapid test (ART).
Not everyone qualifies for eased travel into Singapore. As with most countries, the lifting of restrictions only applies to those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated travelers will still have to comply with testing requirements.
As of May 1, cross-border bus and taxi services between Singapore and Malaysia are going to resume. There will be controlled pick-up and drop-off locations at first. However, this will change if the COVID-19 infection numbers remain low.
All travel sections are beginning to take measures, including increasing staffing levels, to meet the changing environment. They will have to work quickly, since Singapore has a few holidays coming up. The Muslim Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the end of Ramadan, is on May 1-2. Just after that, in June, schools go on break.
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