Overcoming COVID-19 Together: 6 Important Updates

23 Mar 2020

Ref No.: 230320 (2)

UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: 6 Important Updates


The Government is taking further precautionary measures to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 into Singapore. We advise all businesses to take note of these additional measures which are in the latest advisories published by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

1/6: UPDATED TRAVEL ADVISORY AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

We strongly encourage you to review work-related travel plans, and defer all travel abroad with immediate effect. Do also obtain a travel declaration from your employees.
 
Should any of your employees still proceed to travel overseas, you may require them to use their annual leave entitlements to cover the duration of their mandatory Stay-Home Notice (SHN), or any extended period of travel in the destination country.

2/6: UPDATED MEASURES FOR RETURNING TRAVELLERS

MOM is encouraging companies to impose Leave of Absence for all employees returning to Singapore between 14 March and 20 March if these employees have not already been issued with SHN. You may find more details here.

From 20 March 2020, 2359 hours, all travellers (Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass Holders and short-term visitors) entering Singapore from any country will be issued with a 14-day SHN. They will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN – for example, a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.

To better manage the risk of importing the COVID-19 virus, MOM is restricting the entry of pass holders into Singapore. All employers are strongly urged to defer bringing pass holders into Singapore.

If you need to extend the validity of the pass holders’ in-principle approval (IPA), you can do so.

Pass type    Submit your request using
Work Permit    WP Online
Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass    Extend IPA validity request form at least 2 weeks before the IPA expires.

MOM asks for your understanding and cooperation in doing your part to safeguard the interest of Singapore’s public health and the health of your other employees.

However, if you are unable to defer the pass holders’ arrival, you must do the following:

•    From 20 March 2020, 2359 hours, you will need to obtain MOM’s approval for all employees (including dependents) planning to enter/return to Singapore from any country. This applies to existing work pass holders currently out of Singapore and in-Principle Approval holders who have yet to enter Singapore. 

•    Please use MOM’s entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request. Please ensure you are able to fulfil the additional obligations set out by MOM before requesting for approval.  

You may refer to this link for the full list of border control measures.

3/6: STRICTER SAFE DISTANCING MEASURES

We strongly advise employers to implement measures to reduce close physical interactions among employees, and facilitate telecommuting for their employees to work from home. For instances where telecommuting is not feasible, additional precautions should be taken. Please refer to this link for more information on safe distancing at the workplace.
 
Between now and 30 June 2020, all events and gatherings with 250 or more participants in attendance at any one time are to be suspended. For events and gatherings with fewer than 250 participants, do implement necessary precautionary measures to ensure separation of at least a metre between participants.  
 
If you operate any venues accessible to the public, please implement necessary precautionary measures to ensure the separation of at least a metre between patrons. You may find more information on how to implement these measures for specific venues here

4/6: EXEMPTIONS FROM SHN AND SUBMISSION OF HEALTH INFORMATION FOR CARGO GOODS DELIVERY DRIVERS FROM MALAYSIA TO SINGAPORE

There have been queries as to whether drivers delivering cargo goods from Malaysia to Singapore will:
•    be impacted by the 14-Day Stay Home Notice (SHN) that comes into effect on 20 March 2020 (Fri) at 2359 hours for all travellers entering Singapore and
•    have to submit requisite health information for approval before travelling.
 
We have received guidance from relevant agencies that drivers making the cargo deliveries from Malaysia to Singapore will be exempted from these requirements, so long as they depart from Singapore as soon as possible after completion of the deliveries.
 
We would like to assure you that the Singapore Government will continue to work towards the safe and sustainable movement of people, goods and services between Singapore and Malaysia.

5/6: HELP SPEED UP CONTACT TRACING WITH TRACETOGETHER
 

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6/6: MORE RESOURCES BY MOM

“Practise Social Distancing” Posters & Video 
MOM has produced a poster and a video to inform the workers to practise social distancing and how they can do it. They are available in Tamil, Bengali and Chinese so that your workers can understand. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/bg2cQEJPyXc and posters are appended.

SG Clean at Eating Places” Posters
National Environment Agency (NEA) and Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) have produced a new poster to highlight information on how they can practise personal hygiene at eating places, that Singapore has sufficient supply of food and essential, and what to do if one is sick. The content is translated to Tamil, Bengali and Chinese so that your workers can understand. Posters are appended.

Reaching Out to Our Foreign Worker Community” Video 
A video featuring the Ministry of Manpower and Migrant Workers’ Centre visiting a dormitory to educate workers on the COVID-19 situation. The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW0dwlhPs6c. 

We would appreciate your help to share the videos with your workers by sending the link to their phones. You may also wish to print and put up the appended posters around common areas.

There are more materials on COVID-19 and they can be found at https://mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-domestic-worker/publications-and-resources