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8 travellers under investigation for making false declarations in stay-home notice applications

8 travellers under investigation for making false declarations in stay-home notice applications

A view of a largely empty Changi Airport Terminal 2 on Apr 30, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: The police are investigating eight travellers who made false declarations in their applications to opt out of serving their COVID-19 stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.

The eight comprise four Singapore citizens, two permanent residents and two long-term pass holders.

The travellers arrived in Singapore from South Korea and Thailand between Nov 5 and Nov 12, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Thursday (Nov 19).

Since Nov 4, travellers from South Korea and Thailand have been allowed to serve their 14-day stay-home notice at their place of residence instead of dedicated facilities.

READ: More travellers, including those from Japan and Thailand, can serve COVID-19 stay-home notice at place of residence

To do so, travellers must not have visited other countries or regions in the last 14 days before entering Singapore.

They must also occupy the place of residence alone, or only with household members with the same travel history who are serving a stay-home notice of the same duration.

Prior to their arrival in Singapore, the eight travellers submitted applications to opt out of serving their stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.

"In their applications, they had declared that they would be occupying their place of residence alone, or only with household members with the same travel history and serving stay-home notice of the same duration," ICA and SPF said.

When enforcement officers conducted checks, they found the travellers were staying with household members who were not serving a stay-home notice.

All eight were taken to dedicated stay-home notice facilities, and their cases handed over to the police.

READ: COVID-19 – Travellers who serve stay-home notice outside of facilities after entering Singapore must wear electronic device

"If found guilty, we will review the immigration status of the four non-Singaporeans, with a view to revocation of their PR status, or cancelling or shortening the validity of their re-entry permit and/or long-term passes," ICA and SPF said.

The other household members have also been issued with a stay-home notice, the agencies added.

"FIRM ENFORCEMENT ACTION"

Since Aug 11, travellers serving their stay-home notice outside of dedicated facilities have been required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

READ: More than 3,500 electronic wristband devices issued to travellers serving stay-home notices – ICA

"With this enhanced surveillance regime, the Government was able to adopt a more risk-based approach and allow travellers from selected countries or regions to opt out of serving their 14-day stay-home notice at dedicated stay-home notice facilities, and to instead serve it at a suitable place of residence," ICA and SPF said.

The agencies reminded the public to take all health, travel and stay-home notice-related declarations seriously, and to submit truthful and accurate information.

"Firm enforcement action will be taken against those found to have made false declarations," they said.

"Strict compliance with stay-home notice requirements is key to safeguarding the health and safety of our population. All travellers who opt to serve their stay-home notice at their place of residence must remain there at all times. Their movements will be monitored through electronic monitoring and random physical checks."

Those who make false declarations in opting out of dedicated stay-home notice facilities could be jailed or fined.

For failing to comply with stay-home notice requirements, including tampering with or removing the electronic monitoring device during the stay-home period, individuals could be jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$10,000.

For foreigners, ICA or the Manpower Ministry may take further action such as revoking or shortening the validity of their passes to remain in Singapore.

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Source: CNA/dv(cy)

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