Household contacts of quarantined persons must self-isolate at home: MOH

People seen along Orchard Road on 24 May 2021 amid Singapore's Phase 2 (Heightened Measures) period. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
People seen along Orchard Road on 24 May 2021 amid Singapore's Phase 2 (Heightened Measures) period. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — All household members of persons under quarantine are to self-isolate at home and minimise their social interactions for a period of time, the Ministry of Health said on Monday (31 May).

This period will last until the person under quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result at his or her entry into quarantine or if the person is no longer under quarantine.

“As we have observed increased transmission within the same household as the infected individuals, we are taking the added precaution of expanding the ring of public health actions around cases,” MOH said.

Previously, individuals who have been identified as close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case are issued quarantine orders, and are either isolated at government quarantine facilities or at home for 14 days from the last day of their exposure to an infected individual.

Using Antigen Rapid Tests (ARTs)

The authorities also said they will expand the use of Antigen Rapid Tests (ARTs), which are cheaper, faster and more convenient to administer.

The pilot use of ARTs for regular surveillance testing for workers in dormitories, construction sites, airport and selected marine shipyards has started. This is in addition to the PCR-based Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) that these workers have to take.

Such individuals who test positive on their ART must self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result.

ARTs were previously introduced at events and weddings, and via the land checkpoints.

Their use will be further expanded, starting with pilots in student hostels in autonomous universities. The authorities will also work with CapitaLand to run pilots at one or two selected malls.

Meanwhile, Singapore residents will soon be able to purchase "do-it-yourself" COVID-19 tests over the counter at pharmacies.

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