Singaporean in Paris gets Covid-19 before flight home, will spend Christmas alone in hotel

PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Charlene Chew

With more vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) opening up in the past few months, there are more options for Singaporeans to enjoy quarantine-free travel — be it to visit their loved ones or for a much-needed holiday abroad.

However, a woman's three-week European adventure came to a sour end after she tested positive for Covid-19, forcing her to spend Christmas alone, quarantined in a hotel room in Paris, France.

Travellers from Singapore who tested positive abroad must self-isolate for 10 days from the date when symptoms first appear before they are allowed to return home, according to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

In a TikTok video shared on Monday (Dec 20) — with over 200,000 views — Charlene Chew said: "This is for any Singaporean who plans to travel, please be aware of the risks. And the risks are very real."

The 23-year-old burns survivor and fitness coach shared that she filled out a declaration form online before preparing to fly back to Singapore, and indicated that she had close contact with someone who had the coronavirus.

[embed]https://www.tiktok.com/@charlenechew3005/video/7043709364674268417?sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6997944392569964033&is_from_we[/embed]

Chew said: "I was about to get on the flight and literally as I was standing in front of the gate, they didn't let me get on the flight.

"And that really made me upset because I was negative (Chew's pre-departure antigen rapid test).

Perhaps as a disclaimer to discourage anyone from lying in their declaration form, Chew added: "I'm glad I didn't. Two days later, I tested positive [for Covid-19]."

In the three-minute video, Chew also gave tips for Singaporeans who are thinking of travelling overseas using the VTL scheme.

These include setting aside additional funds, time and buying insurance before the trip — just in case you find yourself in the same predicament as Chew.

In the comments, netizens are full of sympathy for Chew. They also praised her for being honest in sharing about the risks of travelling in the midst of the looming Omincron variant. 

ALSO READ: Travellers in Europe, Australia and beyond share their anxiety over Omicron

chingshijie@asiaone.com 

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