Rising cases, More Restrictions and Vaccine Hopes
New waves of infections in several countries including Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan have caused concern. At the same time, vaccination rates remain low impacted both by supply and hesitancy.
Singapore has stopped accepting new entry applications for WP holders from higher-risk countries, which includes everyone except Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, China, New Zealand and Taiwan. Vietnam has stopped granting special entry visas for several categories for those from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and India. And countries continue to implement entry bans for travelers arriving from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Quarantine and entry requirements continue to be modified with increased quarantine timeframes for arrivals from high-risk or locations with variants. Singapore now requires arrivals from Vietnam to undergo 21-day quarantine. Vaccinations are just beginning to impact travel. Hong Kong this week modified criteria for quarantine and testing based upon vaccination status, joining China and Korea with using fully-vaccinated status as a qualifier.
In positive news, Sinopharm, the Chinese-made vaccine was approved for emergency use worldwide by the World Health Organization. Also, the planned travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is set to begin on 26 of May, however in a revision from the update sent earlier – the travel bubble seems less likely as Singapore today has announced a return to lockdown through 13 June. Essential businesses such as pharmacies and grocery stores will be open, in-dining is prohibited but take-away will continue. Working from home is encouraged and gatherings have been reduced to 2 people.
You can download a pdf version of the report here: May-14-RNA-Weekly-Covid-Report (003)