COVID-19: Singapore residents returning from UK, US must stay in designated hotel facilities to serve 14-day SHN

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter

UPDATE: From Friday, 27 March at 9am, all travellers arriving in Singapore, including residents, must submit a health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance. This applies to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and Long-Term Pass (LTP) holders.

They can do so via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service. The health declaration will be made available before Friday as part of the SGAC e-Service, so that travellers who arrive in Singapore after 9am can complete it in advance of their arrival.

Upon submission, travellers will be notified via email on the need to comply with the 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) when they arrive. At the same time, they will be made aware of the penalties under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act (IDA) if they fail to comply with the requirements.

SINGAPORE — Singapore residents who are returning from the UK and the US must stay in dedicated hotel facilities to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) from Wednesday (25 March) at 2359 hours, the multi-ministry taskforce on the coronavirus pandemic said at a media conference on Tuesday (24 March).

The UK and the US account for the largest share of imported cases in Singapore so far, the taskforce said. It expects more Singapore residents, including many Singapore students, to return from the UK and the US over the coming weeks in response to lockdowns in these countries.  

According to Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the taskforce, about 1,200 residents return to Singapore from the UK and the US every day. The majority have been opting to serve their SHN at homes and this has worked well so far, he said.

While some returning Singaporeans on SHN have tested positive for the infection, no family members have been infected “which means that everyone is taking the precautions seriously, they are truly self-isolating at home, and even at distance from their family members which is good,” Wong said.

“But we understand that family members are still worried, Singaporeans are still worried because of the large numbers, and there is always a risk that infection can happen to a next person who is somebody in close proximity, so we are taking additional precautions even on that front,” Wong added.

The authorities will work with hotel operators to provide dedicated facilities for the returnees to serve their 14-day SHN. Transportation will be arranged to send the returnees from the airport to the hotels. The returnees will have individual rooms and toilets and will be provided all their meals so they may avoid physical contact with others. The SHN will be strictly enforced in order to reduce the risk of community transmission from imported cases. 

All returnees from the UK and the US who are still serving their SHN in their homes may apply to stay in the dedicated facilities. They can contact SHN helpline at 6812-5555 for more information.

As of Tuesday, Singapore confirmed 49 new cases of the virus, bringing the total to 558. 17 remain in the intensive care unit while two have died.

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