All Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore from abroad will not return to their homes any more, but stay at dedicated facilities to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
Previously, the immediate transfer to dedicated facilities from the airport applied just for travellers returning from the United States and United Kingdom, with those arriving from Asean countries, India, France and Switzerland added to the list later.
However, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Wednesday (8 Apr) that all returnees will do so, with effect from 11.59pm on 9 Apr.
This is due to the increased capacity meaning Singapore is able to accommodate all returnees in facilities.
Those who are currently serving their SHN will continue at their current locations.
However, in case more people return to Singapore than expected, MOH will assess which of them are more at risk based on where they came back from.
Those deemed more at risk of spreading Covid-19 will get to stay at a dedicated facility over those deemed to be at a lower risk.
Other than Singaporeans, PRs and long-term pass holders, no other travellers are allowed to enter or transit through Singapore at the present moment.
There were about 200,000 Singaporeans residing overseas when the pandemic started. Imagine if all of them returned.
While the hotel industry is certainly not lacking in rooms at the moment, it will be a mean feat to put all of them up in hotels for 2 weeks each.
Housing everyone who comes back in hotels isn’t something that the Government is obilged to do, but they’re doing it anyway to stop the virus potentially spreading from the arrivals to people who are already in Singapore.
Plus all food and room costs are being borne by the Government.
It’s commendable that the authorities have managed to make it such that anyone, regardless of which country they came in from, can minimise spreading the virus to their family members.
According to MOH, it’s not just providing hotel rooms, but cooperating with hoteliers to ensure that hotel staff get training on dealing with SHN guests, as well as infection control.
Singapore is taking social distancing extremely seriously with this move. They want to stamp out all imported cases that can spread Covid-19, and this is probably the best way to do so.
Featured image adapted from TTG Asia, with the picture on the right sent by an MS News reader.
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