askST: I tested positive for Covid-19 before my flight. Should I still board the plane?

Q: Will I face any penalties if I decide to fly with Covid-19?

A: All travellers entering Singapore via air and sea checkpoints, including returning Singapore residents, have to fill up the SG Arrival Card within three days before their arrival.

One question in the card requires travellers to declare if they have fever, cough and other symptoms, and if they visited Africa, the Middle East and selected Latin American countries in the 14 days prior to arriving in Singapore. 

According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s website, travellers who make false declarations may be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act.

For committing an offence under the Act, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

A repeat offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.

Q: Does travel insurance cover me for Covid-19-related expenses? 

A: Ms Annie Chua, head of personal lines at Income Insurance, said Covid-19 insurance benefits are included in the insurer’s travel plans for single trips and annual travel to provide customers protection against the virus and peace of mind.

“Unforeseen circumstances could arise before or during your trip, and knowing that you are financially protected against a variety of travel inconveniences and risks, be it Covid-19, flight or baggage delays or medical emergencies is key to having peace of mind,” she added.

If one is diagnosed with Covid-19 by a medical practitioner before the trip, one can make a claim if the trip is postponed or cancelled, she added. Customers have to purchase their policy at least three days before they leave Singapore, to make a claim.

If a traveller catches Covid-19 while overseas, he can claim under the “trip disruption” benefit to cover expenses for an additional economy-class ticket for air, sea or land travel, or the administrative fees to change his ticket. Travel insurance can also cover accommodation – a standard room for one – to continue with the original scheduled trip.

When making a claim, customers must provide documentation from a medical practitioner, the local authorities or an airline to show that they are forced to change their original itinerary because of Covid-19, Ms Chua added.

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