In response to the surge in the number of?COVID-19?(Coronavirus Disease 2019) confirmed cases around the world, Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) has advised travellers to:
  • Defer all travel to Hubei province (China)
  • Defer non-essential travel to mainland China, South Korea, Iran, Japan and northern Italy*.
*?Refers to the following eight administrative regions of northern Italy: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige / S?dtirol.

In light of this, employers should obtain a health and travel declaration from their employees, on whether they have travelled to mainland China, South Korea, Iran, and northern Italy recently, or if they have any upcoming travel plans to these countries and regions.

So far, Singapore has introduced the following travel measures in limiting the risk of potential COVID-19 spread by employees arriving in Singapore:

  • From 31 January 2020,?MOM?has been rejecting all new work pass (WP) applications for foreign workers from mainland China until further notice. Renewal applications for existing WP holders will not be affected.
  • All returning employees with Hubei travel history within 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore will be quarantined at home or other suitable facilities.
  • All employees arriving from mainland China (excluding Hubei province)?between 31 January 2020, 1800 hrs and 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs?will be required to go on a leave of absence (LOA) for 14 days from the day of arrival in Singapore1.
  • All employees arriving from mainland China (excluding Hubei province)?on or after 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs?will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
  • All employees with recent travel history to Daegu city and Cheongdo county (South Korea) within the last 14 days and arriving?on or after 26 February 2020, 2359 hrs?will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
  • All employees with recent travel history to Iran, northern Italy or South Korea, within the last 14 days and arriving?on or after 4 March 2020, 2359 hours?will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

Action items for employers bringing in foreign employees from affected areas

Affected areas refers to Mainland China (outside Hubei), South Korea, Iran, and Northern Italy (the?eight administrative regions listed earlier).?If your foreign employees have travelled to any of the areas above within the last 14 days and are arriving in Singapore from?4 March 2020, 2359 hrs, you must do the following:

  1. Ensure you can fulfil the?additional obligations?to bring your foreign employees in. If your foreign employees have dependants, who are not issued any work passes including Letter of Consent, the employees must also fulfil their?obligations towards their dependants.
  2. Request for MOM?s approval?before?your foreign employees and their dependants can enter Singapore.
    For new or existing Who needs to request for approval Who is responsible to ensure LOA/SHN is observed
    Work pass holders, including those with?LOC Employer Employer and work pass holder
    DP?or?LTVP?holders who are not employed i.e. not issued a work pass, including LOC Local sponsor i.e employer of?EP?or S Pass holder EP / S Pass holder and DP / LTVP holder
    Applications open daily from 12:01pm and close at 12pm the next day. Requests received during this period are for arrivals within 10 days after the application closes (e.g. for arrivals in Singapore from 2 Mar 2020 to 11 Mar 2020, you can submit the request from 29 Feb 2020, 12:01pm to 1 Mar 2020, 12pm).

Use MOM's?entry approval calculator?to plan when to submit your request.?Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.?Applications submitted:

  • By 12pm: Will receive the outcome on the same day.
  • After 12pm: Will receive the outcome the next day.

 

  • Please wait for MOM approval?before?confirming their flights to Singapore.

Note:?For foreign employees with Hubei-issued passports or with recent travel history to Hubei, please defer their return to Singapore as far as possible.?For in-principle approval (IPA) holders who are on LOA/SHN, you need to wait for them to complete their 14-day LOA/SHN before you can get their passes issued.

 

For IPA holders of:

  EP, S Pass, DP or LTVP Work Permit
If their Short-Term Visit Passes (STVPs) are expiring within 2 weeks Please?request for an extension of the?STVP. MOM will automatically extend the STVP by 14 days, and notify employers when the extension is approved.
If their IPAs are expiring soon Please?request for an extension of the IPA validity. MOM will automatically extend the IPA validity by 14 days, and notify employers when the extension is approved.

Make sure you know the difference between the three following actions:

  • What does quarantine mean:?Employees under quarantine must not leave their designated location for any reason. Employees who are served a Home Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid hospitalisation leave.
  • What does leave of absence (LOA) mean:?Employees on LOA may leave their residences for daily necessities or to attend important personal matters, but they must minimise time spent in public spaces and contact with others.
  • What does stay-home notice (SHN) mean:?Employees on SHN must remain in their residences at all times during the 14-day period and should not leave the residence even if it is to purchase food and essentials.

Other essential aspects for employers and employees to know about quarantine/LOA/SHN

  1. Employees should monitor their health (i.e. for fever = 38?C and respiratory symptoms such as cough or breathlessness) closely during the LOA/SHN period, seek prompt medical attention when necessary and observe good personal hygiene. e.g. not sharing a bed, limiting time spent together at common areas within the apartment, having separate meal times, and avoiding the sharing of food, crockery, utensils and other personal hygiene items.
  2. It is not necessary to segregate persons placed under LOA/SHN from others sharing the same room / apartment, though contact should be minimised, e.g. not sharing a bed, limiting time spent together at common areas within the apartment, having separate meal times, and avoiding the sharing of food, crockery, utensils and other personal hygiene items.
  3. During the LOA/SHN period, employers must ensure that employees stay away from the workplace but employers may adopt flexible work arrangements to allow the employees to work from home.
  4. If working from home is not possible, employers are encouraged to provide paid leave for the LOA/SHN period over and above employees? annual leave entitlements. Eligible employers who provide additional paid leave to their employees on LOA/SHN will also be able to apply for assistance under the LOA/SHN Support Programme as well as foreign worker levy waiver for the LOA/SHN period.
  5. If that is not feasible, employers can consider the following options, or a combination of the options, for the employees on LOA/SHN:
    1. Treat employees? LOA/SHN as paid hospitalisation leave or paid outpatient sick leave;
    2. Allow employees to apply for annual leave;
    3. Allow employees to use advanced paid leave or apply for no pay leave, for employees who have used up their leave entitlements; or
    4. Other mutually agreed arrangements between the employers and employees / unions.
  6. Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA/SHN period. MOM reserves the right to take action against the employer or employee, if they fail to discharge their duty.

For?Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Programme),?Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Programme),?Personalised Employment Pass?(who do not have an employer) and?EntrePass?holders, please refer to the respective pages on what you need to do.