SINGAPORE: The Government is studying the possibility of letting inbound travellers pick their choice of stay-home accommodation, Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office and National Development Tan Kiat How said in Parliament on Thursday (Feb 25).
“We understand that travellers would like to have more choice and flexibility for their SDFs (Stay-Home Notice Dedicated Facilities),” he said in response to Member of Parliament (MP) Foo Mee Har’s (PAP-West Coast) question whether there could be a tiered pricing plan on SDFs.
Several hotels in Singapore have been designated as SDFs.
“We are constantly reviewing our systems and studying ways to provide travellers more options to meet their preferences and budgets, without compromising the safety of travellers, operational staff, and the community,” Mr Tan added.
In general, travellers who are issued with a 14-day stay-home notice are required to complete their isolation at an SDF, to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the community.
Around 190,000 travellers have stayed at these facilities, Mr Tan said.
Currently, travellers cannot select their accommodation and are assigned to the facility when they arrive at Singapore’s checkpoints to “minimise operational complexity”. A standard fee is charged regardless of where they are sent to.
For travellers who have specific needs such as requiring elderly or disability-friendly amenities, officials will consider appeals “on a case-by-case basis, based on the travellers’ financial or personal circumstances”, he said.
In response, Ms Foo said she hopes the Government will think of a “more economical option”, particularly for families who are bringing in foreign domestic workers.
Mr Tan replied that they will look at such situations on a “case-by-case basis”, and there are existing cheaper options for employers to choose from.
“There’s the economy tier catered to many of the profile archetypes that the member talked about - workers from the construction (and) marine process industries as well as foreign domestic workers,” he said.