Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Impact of travel ban implementation on COVID-19 spread in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea during the early phase of the pandemic: a comparative study
Authors: Gwee, Sylvia Xiao Wei 
Chua, Pearleen Ee Yong 
Wang, Min Xian 
Pang, Junxiong 
Keywords: Asia
Imported case
Issue Date: 11-Aug-2021
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Gwee, Sylvia Xiao Wei, Chua, Pearleen Ee Yong, Wang, Min Xian, Pang, Junxiong (2021-08-11). Impact of travel ban implementation on COVID-19 spread in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea during the early phase of the pandemic: a comparative study. BMC Infectious Diseases 21 (1) : 799. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has elicited imposition of some form of travel restrictions by almost all countries in the world. Most restrictions currently persist, although some have been gradually eased. It remains unclear if the trade-off from the unprecedented disruption to air travel was well worth for pandemic containment. Method: A comparative analysis was conducted on Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea’s COVID-19 response. Data on COVID-19 cases, travel-related and community interventions, socio-economic profile were consolidated. Trends on imported and local cases were analyzed using computations of moving averages, rate of change, particularly in response to distinct waves of travel-related interventions due to the outbreak in China, South Korea, Iran & Italy, and Europe. Results: South Korea’s travel restrictions were observed to be consistently more lagged in terms of timeliness and magnitude, with their first wave of travel restrictions on flights departing from China implemented 34 days after the outbreak in Wuhan, compared to 22–26 days taken by Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. South Korea’s restrictions against all countries came after 91 days, compared to 78–80 days for the other three countries. The rate of change of imported cases fell by 1.08–1.43 across all four countries following the first wave of travel restrictions on departures from China, and by 0.22–0.52 in all countries except South Korea in the fifth wave against all international travellers. Delayed rate of change of local cases resulting from travel restrictions imposed by the four countries with intrinsic importation risk, were not observed. Conclusions: Travel restriction was effective in preventing COVID-19 case importation in early outbreak phase, but may still be limited in preventing general local transmission. The impact of travel restrictions, regardless of promptness, in containing epidemics likely also depends on the effectiveness of local surveillance and non-pharmaceutical interventions concurrently implemented. © 2021, The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Infectious Diseases
ISSN: 1471-2334
DOI: 10.1186/s12879-021-06449-1
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:Elements
Staff Publications

Show full item record
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormatAccess SettingsVersion 
10_1186_s12879-021-06449-1.pdf1.87 MBAdobe PDF




checked on Dec 7, 2022

Page view(s)

checked on Dec 1, 2022

Google ScholarTM



This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons