Singapore advisory on COVID-19 precautionary measures
With regards to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, employers and employment agencies in Singapore are laying down restrictions to reduce the risk of importing COVID-19 virus. Foreign nationals are restricted from entering into Singapore.They are being strongly urged to defer bringing foreign nationals to Singapore.
Alternatively, employers can hire foreign nationals who are currently living in Singapore, instead of hiring those from overseas. Foreign nationals must serve a 14-day Stay-home notice period which means there could be a significant delay before they can start working.
In case an employer or employment agency wishes to bring a foreign national into SIngapore, they can proceed with minimal chances of getting an entry approval. Request entry approval from the Ministry of Manpower before the foreign nation can enter Singapore. Foreign national’s housing has to serve the 14-day Stay-Home notice and they should have a Singapore mobile number with internet connection and Whatsapp installed. This procedure has to be completed before submitting the entry approval request. Applications are open everyday between 12:01 PM and close at 12:00PM the next day. The Ministry of Manpower has to approve the application before arranging the travel plans for the foreign national to Singapore.
Precautions for foreign nationals:
Foreign nationals transiting at or travelled from the UK or US and entering Singapore before 25th of March 2020 are required to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice at designated locations. They are not allowed to serve the Stay-home notice at any other place. On arrival the foreign national will be updated on their location and sent directly to the facility, the cost is absorbed by the Government.
Before the Foreign national leaves for Singapore, the employer or employment agency must take care of the below details:
- The foreign national should be informed that they must serve a 14-day Stay-home notice on arriving at Singapore. During this period they won’t be allowed to leave the place of residence.
- The foreign national should adhere to the complete terms and conditions of the Stay-home notice.
- If the foreign national is travelling or transiting from the UK or the US, the employer or employment agency should secure a suitable residence for the complete 14-day Stay-home notice at a designated facility.
- The foreign national must have a Singapore mobile number with Internet connection.
After the FDW enters Singapore, you must:
- The foreign national must comply with the mandatory 14-day SHN upon arrival in Singapore.
- The employer or employment agency must arrange the transportation for the incoming foreign national from the place of disembarkation directly from the airport to the place of residence where he/she will serve the 14-day SHN.
- The mobile number of the foreign national if changed has to be reported to the Ministry of Manpower immediately.
- Arrangement for the non-emergency medical needs to ensure that the foreign national need not leave her place of residence during the SHN.
Foreign nationals must:
- Not leave their place of residence throughout the 14-day SHN.
- Carry their mobile phones with internet connection at all times. They must respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour. Should carry their mobile phones with internet facilities at all times. They must answer to any type of calls from the Ministry of Manpower.
- Visitors are strictly prohibited
- Track and record the number of persons they come in close contact with.
- Should adhere to all the advisories issued by the government of Singapore.
Penalties for non-compliance
Employers, employment agencies and FDWs have to ensure that they follow all the mandatory criteria for approval of entry to SHN requirements.
Demerit points will also be imposed on employment agencies whose actions result in violation of the requirements by FDWs. If any of the requirements are trespassed, Enforcement actions, revocation of work passes and suspension of work pass. Demerit points will also be imposed who fail to follow the requirements for foreign nationals.
General precautions for employers and FDWs
MOM, Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) have laid down the below points to assist the foreign nationals.
- Before handling food or consumable items kindly wash your hands with soap.
- Use tissue paper to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Dispose the tissue in the bin immediately after use.
- Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others; and
- If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.
Employers may wish to consider having everyone in the household, including the FDW, take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any respiratory symptoms. If the FDW is unwell, please allow adequate rest after seeing the doctor. If possible, employers should consider arrangements to minimise contact between your unwell FDW and those under her care.
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