April 20, 2016 -
In an effort to boost the country’s security levels, Singapore is rolling out a biometric entry and exit program for travellers arriving and departing Singapore.
According to a report in the Straits Times, the border security system will start immediately at sea and land ports and will be introduced at airports in the coming months.
An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) spokesperson said that those aged six and above who use manned counters at immigration checkpoints will have to scan both their thumbprints upon arrival and departure. This will affect foreign visitors and Singaporeans who opt to go through these counters, but not Singapore citizens and permanent residents who use the automated clearance lanes.
ICA pointed out that travellers may experience “slightly longer immigration clearance times,” however, it added that it will “monitor the system closely, and will fine-tune and adjust the implementation plans where necessary.”
Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo, from the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law, said: “The evolving and escalated global security threat means that a global passenger transit hub such as Singapore must step up its surveillance and protective work.”