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Singapore and Taiwan, success stories in the content of Covid-19, quickly impose aggressive restrictions at home – and tighten travel between them.
In Taiwan, authorities encouraged people to stay at home this weekend after a record 180 new local cases were reported on Saturday. Internal family and social gatherings in Taipei will be limited to five people, while outdoor ones will be limited to 1
Indoor dinner in Singapore is banned, according to a statement on Friday, and work from home will now be the default, as the city-state has again imposed lock-like measures it last ordered a year ago. Seven schools will move to home schooling to “moral barrierAffected by infections, as the city-state plans to vaccinate those under the age of 16.
Epidemics and virus control measures also threaten the resumption of regional travel. Previously, Singapore allowed passengers from Taiwan to enter without quarantine. On Saturday, he announced a a ban on the entry of short-term visitors with a history of travel to Taiwan in the last 21 days, while requiring citizens, permanent residents and holders of long-term passes to be quarantined when they arrive.
Taiwan’s central command center, too reduced Singapore, along with Vietnam, to a “medium risk” of a group of low-risk locations that include New Zealand, Macau and Australia, indicating an increase in infections.
Meanwhile, the long-awaited quarantine corridor between Hong Kong and Singapore, two of the largest financial centers in Asia, may not start as planned later this month amid recurrence in the island nation.
Singapore and Taiwan are seen as children of the success of Covid control, where locals have circulated daily without fear of infection as the virus devastates much of the world.
Taiwan passed without a single internal coronavirus infection between April and December. In Singapore – the best place to be in the era of the coronavirus from Bloomberg’s Covid Sustainability Ranking – People have attended concerts and cruised.
The regression of Covid control progress shows the difficulty of maintaining a virus-free environment, especially when the low level of threat makes locals reluctant to be vaccinated. In Taiwan, less than 1% of people have been vaccinated so far, according to Tracking of Bloomberg vaccines.
Singapore’s tourism industry is competing to comply with Covid’s new rules
As a sign of the unpredictability of limiting the pandemic, authorities in mainland China, which has been free of locally transmitted cases for about a month, reported a handful of local cases in Anhui and Liaoning provinces this week.
(Adds Singapore’s plans for schools in the third paragraph.)