SINGAPORE: Singapore residents returning from ASEAN countries, France, India and Switzerland must self-isolate for 14 days at dedicated facilities, in an expansion of the stay-home notice requirements to include more countries.
This will apply to Singaporeans, permanent residents and long term pass holders returning from Apr 5 at 11.59pm, announced the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Apr 4).
Previously, only those returning from the United States and the United Kingdom needed to serve their stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.
MOH said the expanded measure is to protect Singaporeans and "further ring fence the risk of community transmission from imported cases".
The countries chosen are based on the ministry's assessment of risks and the history of imported cases in Singapore, and taking into consideration the availability of dedicated stay-home facilities.
"The dedicated stay-home notice facilities are not just about the provision of hotel rooms," said MOH.
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"We also work with the hotel operators to provide training for their staff, and to put in place proper security arrangements, as well as infection control and precautions. It takes time to get ready such facilities, and we do not have enough at present to accommodate all returnees," it added.
"Therefore based on the current capacity, we have prioritised the facilities for returnees from these specific countries."
For those who are returning from other countries, they can serve their 14-day stay-home notice at home.
MOH said the multi-ministry taskforce will continue to monitor the "dynamic and evolving COVID-19 situation", and work closely with the private sector to adjust the capacity of stay-home notice facilities accordingly.
This is the latest move to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Singapore.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had on Friday announced sweeping measures to enhance safe distacing measures, including closing most workplaces and imposing full home-based learning for schools.
Businesses in essential services, such as healthcare, transport, logistics and food and beverage, will continue operations. Supermarkets and markets will also remain open.
Singapore on Saturday reported 75 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily increase to date, bringing the national total to 1,189 infections. Six of the cases were imported with a travel history to Europe, North and South America and ASEAN.