Singapore and Malaysia will restrict arrivals from seven African countries, health officials said Friday, after South Africa discovered a new Covid-19 variant with a large number of mutations.
All non-citizens and people without permanent residency who have recent travel history to the seven countries will be barred from entering.
In both Singapore and neighbouring Malaysia, the restrictions will apply to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
Citizens and foreigners holding permanent resident status will be allowed to return to Singapore and Malaysia, but will have to undergo quarantine, health officials in both countries said.
Malaysia also banned its citizens from visiting the seven affected nations.
The curbs will kick in over the weekend in both countries.
Neither country has detected the new variant, but Singapore’s health ministry said it was seeking to “take the necessary precautions to reduce the risks” of it reaching the city-state.