More than 360 COVID-19 stay-home notice breaches and 130 quarantine order violations so far: MHA

More than 360 COVID-19 stay-home notice breaches and 130 quarantine order violations so far: MHA

faishal ibrahim parl feb 2
Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim speaking in Parliament on Feb 2, 2021. 

SINGAPORE: There have been 367 breaches of stay-home notices and 130 quarantine order breaches as of Jan 25, said Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim on Tuesday (Feb 2). 

A total of 308,442 stay-home notices and 268,385 quarantine orders have been issued as of Jan 25, he added, in response to a parliamentary question from MP Louis Chua (WP-Sengkang). 

Those who breach their stay-home notices or quarantine orders may be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act and be liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, jailed up to six months or both, said Dr Faishal. 

For example in July last year, a Singaporean was sentenced to three months in prison for evading health officials serving a home quarantine order on four occasions and for refusing to comply with the order, he noted. 

Government agencies may also take “administrative actions” against those who violate stay-home notices or quarantine orders, said the Minister of State. 

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in November 2020 revoked the work passes of four people who breached their stay-home notice requirements. Additionally, a Singapore permanent resident lost his permanent resident status and was barred from re-entering Singapore after he breached his stay-home notice, Dr Faishal said in Parliament. 

READ: 4 work passes revoked after breach of COVID-19 stay-home notice requirements

The Government has adopted a range of technological solutions to monitor individuals on stay-home notice and quarantine order, said Dr Faishal. 

"Since August 2020, all individuals who serve stay-home notice (stay-home notice) at their place of residence are required to don an electronic monitoring device for the duration of SHN,” said Dr Faishal. 

“These devices are issued to the travellers after immigration clearance and will need to be activated once they reach their place of residence,” he said, adding that the devices use GPS and 4G or Bluetooth signals to determine if people on stay-home notice are within range of their place of residence. 

“During the 14-day SHN period, persons wearing these devices may receive notifications on their devices and need to acknowledge them in a timely manner.” 

READ: Man loses PR status, barred from re-entering Singapore after breaching stay-Home notice

WATCH - COVID-19: The electronic monitoring device travellers on stay-home notice must wear | Video

Authorities will be alerted if there is any attempt to leave their place of residence or if they tamper with the electronic device. Officials will then investigate the situation and take further enforcement actions if necessary, Dr Faishal added. 

Similarly, those under quarantine will also need to wear electronic monitoring devices to ensure that they do not breach their quarantine orders, he said. 

"Electronic monitoring devices are compulsory for all individuals who are on SHN or QO (quarantine order). This includes Singaporeans, permanent residents, long-term pass holders and short-term visitors," said Dr Faishal.

Addressing the HOMER app mentioned by Mr Chua in his question, Dr Faishal said the app was introduced in April last year and is currently used alongside the electronic monitoring devices. 

“The HOMER App uses facial recognition and location tracking to verify the PUQs’ (persons under quarantine) identity and location respectively, to ensure that they do not breach their QO requirements.” 

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Source: CNA/hw(ta)

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