Travellers entering Singapore to get stay-home notice from March 20
They are also told to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect
Miss Jasmine Low, who cut her trip short after the recall of all students on overseas exchange and internship programmes, will be arriving in Singapore this afternoon.
The National University of Singapore undergraduate is returning home after spending two months in Sweden on her exchange programme, which was supposed to end in mid-June.
The 21-year-old's arrival in Singapore means she will not be subject to a stay-home notice (SHN).
But all Singapore residents returning from abroad after tomorrow will have to serve a 14-day isolation period at home,the multi-ministry task force annouced last night.
This enhanced measure to try to curb the spread of Covid-19 will take effect from 11.59pm tomorrow.
The travel advisory has also been raised, with Singapore residents told to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect.
The previous advisory was to defer only non-essential travel abroad.
Despite missing the compulsory isolation, Miss Low intends to do it on her own as she feels it is socially responsible to do so.
"You could have the virus and not show symptoms, and I live with my parents and grandparents. So to the best of my ability, I will be minimising contact with everyone, even at home," she told The New Paper yesterday as she prepared to fly back from Stockholm.
Miss Low added that her peers who have also had their exchange programmes cut short plan to do the same.
The new broader measure was announced as the number of new confirmed cases rose to 47 yesterday, the highest in a day, bringing the total number of cases to 313.
Of these, 33 cases were imported, with 30 involving Singapore residents returning from abroad.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, said the requirement was broadened as more Singaporeans are expected to return in the coming days.
"We cannot afford to take further risks if the number of these imported cases continue to rise, and that's why we're imposing additional border controls and travel restrictions," he said.
Those served with an SHN must remain in their place of residence at all times for 14 days.
While they may live with others, they should minimise contact and seek medical attention immediately should they develop symptoms.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, co-chair of the task force, said the number of imported cases here is expected to rise for at least the next two weeks.
He added that the authorities will also further seek to reduce the risk of local transmission, especially among vulnerable groups like seniors, and will be announcing additional social distancing measures soon.
"We do expect cases to increase, and our (healthcare) capacity is designed to handle these cases," he said.
Mr Gan added that the capacity of our healthcare system can be further increased if necessary, through ways such as converting quarantine facilities into care facilities and tapping further on the private hospitals.
He said, however, that Singapore must be prepared, as it is not impossible that the daily increase in cases may hit three digits at some point.
Singaporeans returning from abroad must stay at home for 14 days
Singapore residents returning from abroad must now stay at home for 14 days as part of more stringent measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
They have also been told to put off all travel amid concerns of a recent spike in Covid-19 infections, most of them imported cases.
There was a new high yesterday with 47 more infections confirmed, and 30 of the 33 imported cases involved returning residents.
The new measures, which take effect at 11.59pm tomorrow, will apply to travellers at all air, land and sea checkpoints.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said last night: "We cannot afford to take further risks if the number of imported cases continues to rise. That is why we're imposing additional border controls and travel restrictions today."