Coronavirus: Singapore to Stop Port Calls for All Cruise Vessels

These temporary border restrictions for the European countries will start from March 15 and will be reviewed regularly based on the global situation.

The Singapore skyline.

The Lion City has unveiled new measures to curb imported cases of coronavirus, including the cessation of port calls for all cruise vessels with immediate effect. In addition, the country will bar the entry and transit of visitors with recent travel history to Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.

According to a statement by the health ministry, these temporary border restrictions for the European countries will start from March 15 and will be reviewed regularly based on the global situation. They’ve also urged Singaporeans to defer all non-essential travel to the four European countries as they “have had very high numbers of cases and very high rates of increase.

Singapore aside, Malaysia and Hong Kong have already have closed their ports to all cruises. Meanwhile, an increasing number of countries, including Thailand and Vietnam, continue to turn away cruise ships on a case-by-case basis in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said: “We do know that the nature of a cruise is such that there will be a lot of mingling and while we would like to have social distancing on cruises, I don’t know whether cruise operators are able to apply all of these measures. And if they are unable to, and an infected person was on board the cruise and infects more people on the ship, then it will be potentially very difficult.”

Other measures that Singapore is taking include the cancelation and deferment of all ticketed cultural, sports, and entertainment events, with 250 participants or more.

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