COVID-19: Removal of protocols for actions when unwell or infected

Full subsidies remain for vaccinations, but not for treatment in hospitals or COVID-19 treatment facilities

Mask-wearing public outside a general practitioner clinic in Singapore.
Mask-wearing public outside a general practitioner clinic in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Chen Lin)

SINGAPORE — From Monday (13 February), Protocols 1-2-3 - which determine what individuals should do if they are unwell or test positive for COVID-19 - will be stood down.

This means that those with mild Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms should stay home until the symptoms resolve, said the Ministry of Health in a media release on Thursday.

If there is a need to go out, the public should exercise social responsibility – minimise social interactions, wear a mask, avoid crowded places and vulnerable settings such as hospitals and nursing homes, and do not have contact with vulnerable persons.

Only medically-vulnerable persons with ARI symptoms should see a doctor.

Also from Monday, non-fully vaccinated travellers entering Singapore will no longer be required to show proof of a negative pre-departure test. Non-fully vaccinated short-term visitors will also no longer need to purchase COVID-19 travel insurance.

All travellers entering Singapore via air or sea - including Singapore residents - and short-term visitors entering via land, must continue to submit a health declaration via the SG Arrival Card e-service.

Vaccination guidelines reviewed

COVID-19 vaccinations under the National Vaccination Programme will continue to be offered free to all Singaporeans, permanent residents, long-term pass holders and certain short-term pass holders.

They may continue to book an appointment at the Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres, participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics, polyclinics and vaccination centres.

The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) has reviewed our vaccination guidelines, and they are as follows:

  • Everyone aged five and above should achieve at least minimum protection: three doses of mRNA or Novavax vaccine, or four doses of Sinovac vaccine.

  • Those at higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19 are recommended to take the booster around one year after the last booster dose.

  • Persons aged 12 to 59 will be offered a booster shot around one year after their last booster dose, to enhance their protection.

  • Persons aged 5 to 11 are neither recommended nor eligible for additional doses at this time.

  • Children aged 6 months to 4 years continue to be recommended to complete two doses of Moderna/SpikeVax or three doses of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty. They are not recommended nor eligible for additional doses at this time.

Subsidy changes for COVID-19 treatments

COVID-19 vaccinations and oral antivirals will remain fully subsidised for clinically-eligible patients. However, those who visit a hospital or COVID-19 Treatment Facility for COVID-19 treatment will no longer be accorded 100 per cent subsidy.

Instead, regular healthcare safety nets - government subsidies, MediShield Life and MediSave - will apply to Singaporeans and PRs. The government assures lower-income Singaporeans that financial assistance will be available to ensure that healthcare cost remains affordable.

Meanwhile, some Community Isolation Facilities will be maintained for COVID19 patients who want to self-isolate for valid reasons. However, all occupants will be charged for their stay.

All patients in primary-care settings such as polyclinics and general practitioner clinics will be required to pay for any COVID-19 testing, subject to prevailing subsidies.

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