COVID-19 negative not required to be certified by doctors

Employees can simply exit isolation and resume normal activities once they have tested negative on self-administered Antigen Rapid Tests (ARTs).

Employees in Singapore who have tested COVID-19 positive from an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) are not required to have a certified letter or memo from general practitioners (GPs) to certify they have recovered (i.e. testing negative) in order to return to work.

This policy is also applicable to students returning to school, including pre-school and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on 5 February 2022 (Saturday)

According to the Ministry's statement, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are only required to self-isolate at home for at least 72 hours, and if they are well, they may exit isolation to resume normal activities once they test negative on ART. This comes as clinics in Singapore have reported a surge in the number of patients, with many having no or mild symptoms visiting clinics just to obtain a letter or memo certifying they have recovered from COVID-19 infection, to support their return to work or to school.

"These visits are not necessary, and risk compromising the standard of care for other patients who genuinely require medical attention," the Ministry highlighted.

At the workplace

MOH further reminded employers and employees to familiarise themselves with the COVID-19 health protocols.

"Employers should not ask for recovery memos upon return. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 (either through self-test or at a GP clinic) should immediately inform their employers and not return to the workplace, in order to prevent the virus from spreading.

"Those who are well should be allowed to work from home if they are able to do so. If they are unable to work from home, their employers should treat the period of absence as paid sick leave without requiring a medical certificate (MC) from the employees," MOH said.

For employees who are on Protocol 2 (i.e. "You're unwell, but test positive"), the Ministry reminded that they may self-administer ART after at least 72 hours of isolation. If they are feeling well and test negative, employers should allow them to return to the workplace without requiring any further recovery memo or medical assessment from a doctor.

"Sharing of the self-test ART results or on-site ART administration can serve as alternatives," the Ministry added.

At school

Likewise, students and staff who have contracted COVID-19, or are issued with a stay-home notice (SHN) or health risk warning (HRW) will not have to obtain a recovery memo from their doctors, before returning to school. A student can return to school once he or she feels well, and tests negative for COVID-19 after at least 72 hours of self-isolation.

The aforementioned applies to students and staff who are in preschools, early intervention centres, the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) kindergartens, primary & secondary schools, special education (SPED) schools, junior colleges (JCs)/Millennia Institute (MI), as well as IHLs.

RELATEDSingapore's COVID-19 protocols: What to do if you test positive or are a close contact of a case

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