Singapore Exits COVID-19 “Circuit Breaker,” Begins Phase One of Gradual Re-Opening

On Tuesday, May 19th, Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced that Singapore will exit their set of COVID-19 measures, collectively known as their “circuit breaker,” on June 1st and begin a three-phased approach to resume activities safely. The first phase of Singapore’s reopening began on Tuesday, June 2nd, which allows for business and economic activities that do not pose high risk of transmission to gradually reopen.

In conjunction with Phase One of Singapore’s reopening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“MFA”) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) released a joint press statement announcing that Singapore and China have agreed upon a “fast lane arrangement” to facilitate essential business and official travel between both countries. The fast lane has been established between six Chinese provinces and municipalities (Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang) and Singapore. The arrangement is open to residents in Singapore and China, and will gradually expand to other Chinese provinces and municipalities.

At this time, as of March 23rd, all short-term visitors (i.e. tourists and business travelers) arriving from anywhere in the world are still not permitted entry into Singapore or international transit through Singapore. Long-Term Pass Holders, including their dependents, that provide essential services, such as in healthcare and transport, will only be permitted entry or return into Singapore upon being granted approval from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”).

Effective Thursday, June 11th, the MOM will allow for online submission of new Employment Pass (“EP”) and S Pass applications when logging in using myMOM portal. Additional information on preparing to use the MOM’s new EP and S Pass Application service can be found here. As of this time of writing, regular EP application processing remains suspended due to COVID-19, and the MOM will only allow foreign nationals currently present in Singapore to apply for work passes. Unfortunately, the MOM has yet to release any additional information in regards to their EP application services. We will provide more information as it becomes readily available.

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