Singapore, Ministry of Health, healthcare, hospital, visits

Visitors are required to comply with the safe management measures (SMMs) to better protect vulnerable and at risk patients/residents.

Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) will allow the resumption of in-person visits to all hospital wards and residential care homes (‘Homes’) from 4 April 2022.

As part of COVID-19 measures, MOH had earlier announced the suspension of in-person visits to hospitals and Homes until 3 April 2022. As the daily number of local COVID-19 cases has fallen, and the situation in hospitals and Homes is starting to improve, in-person visits to hospital wards and Homes will resume. This will also include public acute hospitals, community hospitals, and private hospitals.

Visitors are required to comply with the safe management measures (SMMs) to better protect vulnerable and at risk patients/residents.

In-person visits are only allowed for individuals (i.e. patients, residents and visitors) who are fully vaccinated. As a concession, individuals (i.e. patients, residents and visitors) who are medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination will still be allowed visits as well. Under exceptional circumstances, hospitals and Homes may also exercise flexibility in their visitor policies on a case-by-case basis.

Non-fully vaccinated visitors who are allowed under exceptional cases to visit by hospitals and Homes are required to show a negative antigen rapid test (ART) result obtained within the last 24 hours of each visit, administered or supervised by MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers (including tests performed at Combined Test Centres and Quick Test Centres). All tests are to be self-funded by the visitor.

Each patient will be allowed to register up to two visitors for each admission. Patients who are critically ill will be allowed five registered visitors for each admission. To avoid crowding in the wards, two visitors will be allowed at the bedside at any one time.

Visitors are to abide by the hospital’s visiting hours. Visitors who are approved to stay beyond the visiting hours, such as caregivers, will need to show proof of a valid ART result done within the last 24 hours. Further details can be found here.

Ending off its statement, MOH states: "We understand the past months have been difficult for patients/residents, and their family members and loved ones as in-person visits were suspended, and thank everyone for their understanding. We seek their continued cooperation to comply with the SMMs to keep patients/ residents safe as in-person visits are resumed.

"MOH will review and calibrate these measures as the situation evolves."

Image / 123RF

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