Latest Updates & Guidance for COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)

Last updated: 5 August 2020

Summarising the latest advice, support and guidance from official sources on COVID-19 for your business, your employees and you. 

When communicating guidance and updates internally to employees, the Chamber recommends considerate use of language and terminology and the need for sensitivity across all cultures. 
 

THE CURRENT
COVID-19 SITUATION IN SINGAPORE

     

Information (links)

Last Updated

Highlights

Source

Dashboard: Official Update of COVID -19 Situation in Singapore Live  

MOH

Singapore COVID-19 Symptom Checker   Suggests preferred care options based on age, recent travel history, people you may have been exposed to, and the symptoms you are having. This website does not collect personally identifiable data.

MOH

Subscribe to the official gov.sg COVID-19 WhatsApp updates  

 

 
Emergency Help for British People  

 

24hr emergency consular assistance +65 6424 4200

 

 
Singapore's Safe Nation phased recovery plan 15 June 2020 From 19 June 2020, Singapore will enter Phase 2 of the post-circuit breaker recovery process from COVID-19. Visit our updated summary of the Safe Nation phases for the latest details.  
Health Advisory for those issued with a Stay Home Notice (SHN) 15 July 2020 Please refer to this latest updated version.   MOH
Travel Restrictions 15 Jul 2020

The Ministry of Health recommends to defer all travel abroad. Essential business and official travel will be permitted under Green/ Fast Lane arrangements only. If you/your employees choose to travel and the traveller is holding a work pass, the company/sponsor must apply for Re-entry approval and this be granted before the person attempts to re-enter Singapore, otherwise they and their dependents may have their passes revoked and be sent back to their country of origin. Approval is being given only in rare circumstances.

Short-term visitors are not allowed entry into Singapore, except those coming in under the Green/Fast Lane arrangements (starting with China and Malaysia), or with special prior approval. Singapore has also ceased port calls for all cruise vessels. Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders returning to Singapore from China must also comply with a set of requirements.

More information on the requirements for the Singapore-China Fast Lane can be found here, and the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) with Malaysia here.

All inbound travellers will have to serve a Stay Home Notice (SHN) for 14 days and must complete a health declaration. Inbound travellers from most countries will need to serve their SHN at a dedicated facility, with the exemption of travellers who had remained in the following countries/regions in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Mainland China
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

For the travellers noted above:

  • Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents may serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence
  • Long Term Pass holders may serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence that they or their family members own or are sole tenants of; or in suitable accommodation such as a hotel (at their own cost)
  • All will be required from 10 August to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout the 14-day SHN. Those aged 12 and below will be exempted from this requirement. For further details click here.

From 18 June, all incoming travellers entering Singapore will be tested for COVID-19. The test will be scheduled a few days before the end of the SHN period, at a designated community testing facility. You will receive an SMS notification informing you of the scheduled appointment slot and venue. Travel from your home to the designated testing facilities, and return immediately after the test, using a private vehicle or designated transport. Public transport should be avoided. 

From 18 June, all inbound and outbound travellers who enter or leave Singapore will be required to pay for their COVID-19 tests. All incoming travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents will be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.

The prevailing charges are summarised below:

COVID-19 test for persons under SHN Up to $200^
(inclusive of GST)
14-day stay at dedicated SHN facility $2,000 
(inclusive of GST) 

Short-term visitors granted special prior approval to enter Singapore (except under established Green / Fast Lane arrangements) are subject to the same treatment with regard to SHN and test requirements, and charges, as Long Term Pass holders.

   MOH

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

     
Chamber Summary of Financial Support Updates 5 May 2020 Download our guide to support made available for businesses and available by the Singapore Government. Includes compiled information from the Resilience and Solidarity Budgets and at-a-glance information on measures applicable to companies with less than 30% local shareholdings.  bcc
Phase 2 Sector Related Advisories 16 Jun 2020      MOH
Safe Management Measures for workplaces as they reopen 9 May 2020

As businesses begin to reopen, the MOM will enforce a series of Safe Management Measures which must be put in place.

For full details of appropriate Safe Management Measures for various workplace settings, click here.

  1. Implement a detailed monitoring plan 
  2. Appoint Safe Management Officer(s) (SMO). The duties of the Officer(s) include:
    1. Coordinating implementation of Safe Management Measures
    2. Conducting inspections and checks
    3. Remedying non-compliance
    4. Keeping records of inspections and checks
  3. Where employees can perform their work by telecommuting from home, the employer must ensure that they do so.
    1. Measures could include reviewing the work processes, providing the necessary IT equipment to employees and adopting solutions that enable remote working and online collaboration. 
    2. Conduct all internal and external meetings between employees and with suppliers/contractors virtually where possible
    3. No activities with close and prolonged contact
    4. Special attention should be paid to vulnerable employees 
  4. For job roles or functions where employees cannot work from home, such as frontline operations, manufacturing production, and fieldwork at construction sites, shipyards or plants, employers must ensure the following precautions are in place prior to resuming operations:
    1. Stagger working and break hours
    2. Implement shift or split team arrangements
      1. There must be no cross-deployment or interaction between employees in different shifts, teams or worksites, even outside of work.
      2. If cross-deployment cannot be avoided (e.g. due to the nature of the job), additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection (e.g. systems are in place to ensure no direct contact with the cross-deployed personnel).
    3. Minimise need for physical touchpoints
  5. In the situation that physical interaction is required in the workplace, precautions should be taken to ensure clear physical spacing of at least 1 metre between persons at all times through the following:
    1. Employers must demarcate safe physical distances (at least 1m apart) at the workplace premises with visual indicators or through physical means (e.g. high barriers between workstations, relocation of workstations, meeting room seats). 
    2. If there is a critical need for physical meetings to proceed, employers should limit the number of attendees and shorten their durations.
    3. Employers who are service buyers should also require their suppliers/contractors to implement similar safe distancing measures, so that operations and business interactions with these suppliers/contractors are kept safe. 
    4. Employers with frontline or customer-facing operations should adopt the queue management measures recommended by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to reduce physical interactions between service staff and customers as well as amongst customers. 
    5. The monitoring and enforcement of safe distancing could be aided by appropriate technology (e.g. CCTVs, video analytics) where possible.
  6. Record proximity data on phones: To help MOH to more quickly identify potential close contacts of COVID-19 patients and reduce disease transmission, employers should encourage all employees to download and activate the TraceTogether app
  7. Control access at the workplace: Employers must limit access to the workplace to only essential employees and authorised visitors. The SafeEntry visitor management system must be used to record the entry of all personnel (including employees and visitors) entering the workplace.
  8. Wearing of masks at the workplace: Employers must ensure that all onsite personnel, including employees, visitors, suppliers and contractors, wear a mask and other necessary personal protective equipment at all times at the workplace, except during activities that require masks to be removed.
  9. Observing good personal hygiene: Employers should encourage their employees to observe good personal hygiene, e.g. wash their hands regularly and refrain from touching their face.
  10. Step up cleaning of workplace premises
  11. Provision of cleaning and disinfecting agents at the following areas:
    1. Cleaning agents (e.g. hand soap, toilet paper) must be available at all toilets and hand-wash stations.
    2. Disinfecting agents (e.g. hand sanitisers) must be installed at all human traffic stoppage points within the workplace, such as entrances, reception areas, security booths and lift lobbies.
  12. Conduct regular temperature screening and declarations for all onsite employees and visitorsEmployers must keep declaration records for all employees and visitors for at least 28 days for inspection purposes.
  13. Adherence to travel advisories
  14. Ensure employees do not clinic-hop and guard against incipient outbreaks
  15. Management of unwell cases: An evacuation plan must be prepared for unwell or suspected cases, as well as for other onsite personnel.
    1. Any employee who is feeling unwell or showing symptoms of illness should report to his employer, leave the workplace and consult a doctor immediately, even if symptoms may appear mild. Employers must track and record these cases as part of Safe Management Measures.
    2. For incapacitated or unconscious individuals, employers must clear the area of other personnel and administer aid immediately. Employers should call 995 for an emergency ambulance to ferry them to the nearest hospital.
  16. Management of confirmed cases: A follow-up plan must be put in place in the event of a confirmed case. Upon being notified of a confirmed case, employers must adopt the following precautionary measures:
    1. Immediately vacate and cordon-off the immediate section of the workplace premises where the confirmed case worked. There is no need to vacate the building or the whole floor if there had been no sustained and close contact with the confirmed case; and
    2. Carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfecting all relevant on-site areas and assets that were exposed to confirmed cases, in accordance to NEA guidelines.
mom
Rental Relief Framework 7 Jul 2020   esg
Business Support Packages Offered by Governments in Overseas Markets 20 Jul 2020   esg
Asked & Answered: Your COVID-19 Questions Answered by the Singapore Government 2 Apr 2020 Members' FAQs with responses provided by the relevant Singapore Government agencies. Responses were provided prior to the Circuit Breaker measures announcement.  bcc
Guide on Business
Continuity Planning for
COVID-19
1 Apr 2020   esg

Advisory on salary and leave arrangements

17 Jul 2020   mom
DIT Information for UK Businesses in Asia affected by COVID-19 20 May 2020    dit

Inter-agency advisory on supporting mental well-being of workers under COVID-19 work arrangements

24 Apr 2020 Jointly issued by MOMMSFAIC, IMH and NCSS.  
COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill 1 Apr 2020

The measures will cover relevant contractual obligations that are to be performed on or after 1 February 2020, for contracts that were entered into or renewed before 25 March 2020. The Bill will cover the following contracts:

a) Leases or licences for non-residential immovable property (e.g. lease for factory premises);
b) Construction contract or supply contract (e.g. contract for the supply of materials);
c) Contracts for the provision of goods and services (e.g. venue, catering) for events (e.g. weddings, business meetings);
d) Certain contracts for goods or services for visitors to Singapore, domestic tourists or outbound tourists, or promotion of tourism (e.g. cruises, hotel accommodation bookings); and
e) Certain loan facilities granted by a bank or a finance company to SMEs.

The Bill will prohibit a contracting party from taking the following legal actions against a non-performing party:
a) Court and insolvency proceedings;
b) Enforcement of security over immovable property as well as movable property that is used for the purposes of business or trade;
c) Call on a performance bond given pursuant to a construction contract; and
d) Termination of leases of non-residential premises.

minlaw

THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION IN THE UK

     
Self-isolation rules when you travel to the UK 31 Jul 2020

When you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days unless you are arriving from an exempt country. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear. If you’re travelling to the UK for less than 14 days, you will be expected to self-isolate for the length of your stay.

If you’re travelling from an exempt country you will not need to self-isolate. You should check the list of exempt countries before you travel. If you travel from an exempt country but have been in a country that is not exempt within the last 14 days, you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 days since you were last in a non-exempt country.

You should follow separate advice if you need to self-isolate in:

Before you travel to the UK from anywhere outside the Common Travel Area, you should provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate. You will be able to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive. You may be refused permission to enter the UK (if you are not a British citizen), or fined if you do not to provide your contact details or do not self-isolate when you arrive in the UK unless you are arriving from an exempt country. In England, if you do not self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000. If you do not provide an accurate contact detail declaration – or do not update your contact detail form in the limited circumstances where you need to move to another place to self-isolate – you can be fined up to £3,200.

When you arrive in the UK, go straight to the place you’re staying. Only use public transport if you have no other option. If necessary, and you have a long journey within the UK to arrive at your self-isolation accommodation, you can stop overnight in safe accommodation before continuing your journey. You must self-isolate and provide the address of your overnight stop on your public health passenger locator form.

These rules are for UK residents and all visitors coming into the UK.

You will need to complete a public health passenger locator form unless you are travelling within the Common Travel Area, and have been in the Common Travel Area for the past 14 days. If you’ve been outside the Common Travel Area at any time in the last 14 days you will need to complete a public health passenger locator form.

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling from an exempt country and have been in an exempt country for the last 14 days. You should check the list of exempt countries before you travel. Exempt countries include all parts of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

If you travel from an exempt country but have been in a country that is not exempt within the last 14 days, you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 days since you were in a non-exempt country. If you transit through a country that is not exempt you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

There are other reasons why you might not need to self-isolate. Read the detailed guidance on who does not need to self-isolate.

When you arrive in the UK, it is very important that you stay in your declared accommodation for 14 days. It can take up to 14 days for you to develop coronavirus symptoms after you catch the virus and in this time you can unknowingly pass it on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Self-isolating will reduce the chance of a second wave of coronavirus in the UK and help prevent family, friends and the community from contracting coronavirus, as well as helping to protect the NHS.

Arrivals from countries that are exempt from the requirement will not be required to self-isolate, because they’re travelling from places that have been assessed as low risk.

When you arrive in the UK, go straight to the place you’re staying. If you cannot safely self-isolate for 14 days, you should tell Border Force Officers when you pass through UK border controls. They will provide you with details of a booking service which you can use to obtain accommodation and self-isolate in at your own expense. 

Only use public transport if you have no other option. If you do use public transport, wear something that covers your nose and mouth and stay 2 metres apart from other people. Pack a face covering or scarf to cover your nose and mouth before you travel. If you have coronavirus symptoms, you will not be allowed to travel by public transport and will need to demonstrate that the accommodation where you will self-isolate is safe.

If necessary, and you have a long journey within the UK to arrive at your self-isolation accommodation, you can stop overnight in safe accommodation before continuing your journey. You must self-isolate and provide the address of your overnight stop on your public health passenger locator form in addition to your declared accommodation address.

You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others. You must self-isolate at the address you provided on the public health passenger locator form.

This can include:

  • your own home
  • staying with friends or family
  • a hotel or other temporary accommodation

You should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing:

  • emergency assistance
  • care or assistance, including personal care
  • medical assistance
  • veterinary services
  • certain critical public services

You cannot go out to work or school or visit public areas. You should not go shopping. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery.

In England, you must only exercise within your home or garden. You cannot leave your home to walk your dog. You will need to ask friends or relatives to help you with this.

NHS Volunteer Responders are also available if you need help collecting shopping, medication or would like a telephone ‘check-in and chat’.

The people you’re staying with do not need to stay at home, unless they travelled with you.

For full details visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk.

  doh
Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do   Advice for those in the UK  
NHS Advice     nhs

THE CURRENT GLOBAL COVID-19 SITUATION

     
World Health Organisation updates     who