COVID-19 Updates

Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, now declared a global pandemic, in Singapore, DIMENSIONS has been closely monitoring the evolving situation and strictly adhering to the precautionary measures implemented by the Singapore government. Amid this precarious period, we would like to reassure you that the safety, health and well-being of all students, parents and staff remain our utmost priority. The following advisories have been issued by the Singapore authorities over this period of time to limit the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore.

Contact Tracing Tools – SafeEntry and TraceTogether

In order to bring the community spread of COVID-19 to a halt, the Singapore government rolled out new mobile applications, such as the SafeEntry check-in system and TraceTogether, and will deploy them more pervasively when easing the tighter circuit breaker measures.

SafeEntry was deployed by the Government on 23 April 2020 to log the names, NRIC/FINs and mobile numbers of individuals visiting hotspots, workplaces of essential services, and selected public venues. Such details are necessary for the Government to carry out contact tracing quickly and effectively, should the need arise. Users, when required, can simply check in by scanning a QR code displayed at the venue with their phone, or by having any identification card with a barcode scanned e.g. NRIC, driver’s licence, Student’s Pass, and work permit. From 12 May 2020, all businesses and services that are in operation must come on board the SafeEntry system to log the check-in and check-out activities of all employees and visitors.

Singaporeans are also encouraged to download and actively use the TraceTogether app, especially when they are out and about. The app uses Bluetooth proximity data to establish close contact between two users to effectively combat the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

More at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/easing-the-tighter-circuit-breaker-measures-preparing-for-gradual-resumption-of-activity-after-1-june

Gradual Easing of Tighter Circuit Breaker Measures

With a falling number of COVID-19 cases in the community over the past month, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) issued a statement on 2 May 2020 (Saturday) stating that it will cautiously and gradually roll back some of the tighter circuit breaker measures, announced on 21 April 2020 (Tuesday), over the next few weeks.

Beyond easing the circuit breaker measures, the MTF is currently preparing for the safe and progressive resumption of economic and community activities after the end of the extended circuit breaker period on 1 June 2020 (Monday). From 12 May 2020 (Tuesday), selected businesses, such as retail F&B, basic haircut, pet product, and retail laundry services will be allowed to resume their operations. For updated information about the list of activities that will be allowed to operate, please visit: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices/

Should you require more details regarding the easing of CB measures, please visit: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/easing-the-tighter-circuit-breaker-measures-preparing-for-gradual-resumption-of-activity-after-1-june

Extended Circuit Breaker and Tighter Measures

Propelled by the alarming surge in the COVID-19 infections predominantly among migrant workers housed in dormitories, PM Lee announced on Tuesday (April 21) that the circuit breaker period will be extended by another month to 1 June 2020 (Monday) (inclusive) in an effort to contain the spread of the virus among migrant worker clusters and bring down the number of community cases decisively.

In view of the current situation, not only will there be an incremental tightening of existing measures over the next few weeks, but more work premises will also be closed during the extended circuit breaker period. For more information regarding the extended circuit breaker, please visit: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/strong-national-push-to-stem-spread-of-covid-19

PM Lee’s remarks in English, Malay and Chinese on COVID-19 situation in Singapore can be read here:
https://www.pmo.gov.sg/Newsroom/PM-Lee-Hsien-Loong-address-COVID-19-21-Apr

Rescheduling of GCE-Level MTL Examinations

In light of the changes made to the academic calendar, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will reschedule the Mid-Year Mother Tongue Language (MTL) Written Examinations as follows:

Subject Examined Original Date Rescheduled Date
O-Level MTL (Papers 1 and 2) 1 June 2020 8 am 18 June 2020 2 pm
A-Level H1 MTL (Papers 1 and 2)
O-Level MTL B (Papers 1 and 2)

1 June 2020 8 am

19 June 2020 2:30 pm
A-Level MTL B (Papers 1 and 2)

The listening comprehension for O- and A-level MTL and MTL B will be rescheduled as follows:

Subject Examined Original Date Rescheduled Date
O-Level MTL and MTL B Listening Comprehension 21 Jul 2020
27 Jul 2020
A-Level MTL and MTL B Listening Comprehension 22 Jul 2020

Source: https://www.seab.gov.sg/

Stiffer Penalties for Breach of Safe Distancing Measures

Stiffer penalties for individuals who do not comply to the elevated safe distancing measures will be implemented with effect from 12 April 2020 (Monday). Written warnings will no longer be issued, and fines will be imposed. Furthermore, all patrons should wear their masks when visiting markets. Otherwise, they will be denied entry.

For more information, please visit: https://www.mewr.gov.sg/news/stiffer-penalties-for-breach-of-safe-distancing-measures-from-12-april-2020

Circuit Breaker to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has implemented an elevated set of safe distancing measures as a circuit breaker to ring-fence the heightened number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore on 3 April 2020 (Friday). This move aims to greatly reduce the movements and interactions of individuals in public and private places.

To do this, all primary, secondary, Pre-University and IHL students, including students from Special Education (SPED) schools, will shift to full Home-Based Learning (HBL) in Singapore from 8 April 2020 (Wednesday) to 4 May 2020 (Monday) and most physical workplace premises will be closed from 7 April 2020 (Tuesday) to 4 May 2020 (Monday), except for companies providing essential services which are critical for the local and global supply chains. Work and business activities that can be done via telecommuting should continue to be completed from home. Classes will resume on 5 May 2020.

For more information, please visit: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/circuit-breaker-to-minimise-further-spread-of-covid-19

MOH’s Updated Travel Advisory and SHN

In view of the heightened risk of further importation of COVID-19 to Singapore, MOH has advised deferring all travel abroad with immediate effect. This aims to reduce the risk of Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass Holders and short-term visitors from being infected with the virus when abroad, and spreading it to others when they return.

Updated Travel Advisory and SHN: 9 April 2020

As the Ministry of Health (MOH) expands the enhanced SHN requirements to ALL countries, ALL Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders entering Singapore will be required to serve a 14-day self-isolation at dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facilities from 9 April 2020 (Thursday), 2359 hours. Returnees who are already back in Singapore will continue to serve their 14-day SHN at their current location.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/expansion-of-the-enhanced-stay-home-notice-requirements-to-all-countries

Previous Travel Advisories and SHN

To reduce the risk of community transmission from imported cases, all Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders returning from ASEAN countries, France, India, and Switzerland from 5 April 2020 (Sunday), 2359 hours, will be required to serve a 14-day self-isolation at dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facilities. This arrangement will continue to apply to returnees from the UK and US.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/expansion-of-enhanced-stay-home-notice-requirements-to-more-countries

With effect from 20 March 2020 (Friday), 2359 hrs, all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass Holders and short-term visitors entering Singapore will be issued a 14-day SHN. The table below provides a summary of the latest updates on border control measures to guard against COVID-19.

 

TRAVEL HISTORY IN THE LAST 14 DAYS IN COUNTRIES/REGIONS FOR SINGAPORE RESIDENTS AND LONG-TERM PASS HOLDERS FOR SHORT-TERM VISITORS
Hubei province (Mainland China) 14-day quarantine Not allowed entry or transit
ASEAN countries (France, India, and Switzerland) 14-day self-isolation at dedicated SHN facilities Not allowed entry or transit
Mainland China (except Hubei province), France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Spain 14-day stay-home notice Not allowed entry or transit
All countries and regions* 14-day stay-home notice 14-day stay-home notice

Short-term visitors who are ASEAN nationals will also be required to submit requisite health information for approval before travelling.

*The SHN does not apply to land and sea crossings with Malaysia.

The MOH advisories dated 18 March 2020 (Wednesday) and 19 March 2020 (Thursday) can be read here:

All Singapore residents returning from Britain and the United States from 25 March 2020 (Wednesday), 2359 hrs, will have to stay in hotels to serve their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN). Those who breach the SHN will face fines of less than $10,000 or a jail term of less than six months or both.

Any Singapore resident or Long-Term Pass Holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 (Friday) will be charged unsubsidised rates should they be hospitalised in public hospitals for COVID-19 treatment. In addition, they will not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.

Those found guilty of breaching the stay-home notices issued to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic will be investigated and charged in court. For more information, please visit: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid19-stay-home-notice-breach-charged-court-shanmugam-12574668?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna

ICA has cancelled the passport of a Singapore citizen for breaching the stay-home notice. More at: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid19-coronavirus-breach-stay-home-notice-passport-cancelled-12586942

The earlier MOH advisories dated 11 March and 18 March 2020 for persons issued with SHN can be read here:

Those on SHN must remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period, and are also advised to minimise contact with others, and avoid having visitors to the residence.

Closure of ICA Building for Disinfection

As a precautionary measure, the ICA Building located at 10 Kallang Road will be closed for disinfection from 11 April 2020 (Saturday) in accordance with the NEA guidelines for environmental cleaning and disinfection of areas for COVID-19 cases.

More at:
https://www.ica.gov.sg/news-and-publications/media-releases/media-release/closure-of-ica-building-for-disinfection

All Travellers Arriving in Singapore from 27 March 2020, 0900 Hours, Must Submit Health Declaration Via the SG Arrival Card E-Service

In view of the heightened risk of importation of COVID-19 cases, please note that the Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has announced that from 9:00 AM on 27 March 2020 (Monday), all travellers arriving in Singapore will have to submit a health declaration online before proceeding with immigration clearance. Singapore will not allow short-term visitors to enter or transit through the country.

Travellers will have to submit their declaration via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service at https://icaeservices.ica.gov.sg/sgarrivalcard/. The health declaration will be made available before 27 March 2020 (Monday), so that travellers who are due to arrive before that can complete it in advance of their arrival.

All Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Long-Term Pass (LTP) Holders (Student’s Pass, Dependant’s Pass, Work Pass) who submit their health declaration will need to select “Residents” on the website, after which they will be directed to provide their health and recent travel information, as well as personal and contact details. All travellers can submit their health declaration up to three days prior to arrival in Singapore.

Those who make false declarations will be liable for prosecution under the Infectious Diseases Act. First-time offenders face a fine of up to S$10,000 and jail for six months. Repeat offenders face double those penalties.

For more details, please refer to: https://www.ica.gov.sg/news-and-publications/media-releases/media-release/all-travellers-arriving-in-singapore-from-27-march-2020-0900-hours-must-submit-health-declaration-via-the-sg-arrival-card-e-service

Enhanced Measures Announced by MOE and MOM

On 19 March 2020 (Thursday), MOE, MSF and ECDA announced that they will issue a 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) to students and staff of schools, preschools and student care centres who have returned to Singapore between 14 and 20 Mar 2020 if they have not been issued SHN. This is an additional precautionary measure to protect the education system, given that students and staff may have travelled during the March holiday period. Please refer to the following links for more information.

On 20 March 2020 (Friday), MOM has also encouraged employers to similarly impose LOA for all employees returning to Singapore between 14 and 20 March 2020 if they have not been issued with SHN. This is to protect workplaces from the risk of further transmission and in recognition that many parents have been affected by the earlier measure as they may be required to provide care for their children during this period.

In view of the above, as an added precautionary measure to reduce the risk of imported cases and safeguard the safety and well-being of the campus community, all staff and full-time students returning from overseas between 14 and 20 March 2020 will be required to serve a 14-day LOA upon their return to Singapore if they have not been issued SHN. Day of return will be Day 0. Read more at:

DIMENSIONS will continue to monitor all staff and students under LOA daily and to take disciplinary action against non-compliance in accordance with PEI’s disciplinary rules.

Changes to Travel Declarations

Pre-arrival notification letters will be issued to full-time students travelling from all countries and regions, as soon as we are made aware of their travel plans. All returning full-time students will be issued SHN. Here are the updated pre-arrival notification letters for new and returning students for your reference:

Additional Precautionary Measures

Consequences for Those Who Fail to Comply with Social Distancing Rules

From 27 March 2020 (Friday), people in Singapore who intentionally sit down less than 1m away from another person in a public place or on a fixed seat marked as not to be occupied, or who stand in a queue less than 1m away from another person, will be guilty of an offence.

For more information, please refer to this article:
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/coronavirus-safe-distancing-rules-kick-in-failure-to-sit-or-queue-1m-apart-from-others

Closure of Entertainment Venues and Suspension of Tuition and Enrichment Classes

Following the announcement by MOH on 24 March 2020 (Friday) with regard to the Tighter Measures to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19, all entertainment venues will be closed from 26 March 2020 (Thursday), 2359 hrs, till 30 April 2020 (Thursday). Apart from entertainment venues, all centre-based tuition and enrichment classes will be temporarily suspended to reduce the risk posed by the intermingling of students from different schools. Gatherings outside work and school are strictly limited to 10 people.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/tighter-measures-to-minimise-further-spread-of-covid-19

Stricter Safe Distancing Measures

On top of existing measures for temperature taking and protocols to identify and ensure students with symptoms such as cough, sore throat, or other respiratory symptoms, do not attend class, we have put in place stricter safe distancing measures outlined in MOH’s advisory on 20 March 2020 (Friday).
More at: https://dimensions.edu.sg/pdf/Covid19/MOH_News_Highlights_20Mar.pdf

Those Who Flout Five-Day Sick Leave May Be Jailed or Fined

Anyone who has acute respiratory symptoms and is issued a five-day sick leave by a medical practitioner must not leave his/her home starting on the day the medical certificate is issued, according to the latest update of the Infectious Diseases Act made by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Those who do not comply will be liable to a fine of up to S$10,000 or up to a six-month imprisonment, or both. They can leave only to seek medical attention.

For more information, please refer to this article:
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/coronavirus-those-who-flout-five-day-mc-may-be-jailed-or-fine

Useful Links

Should you wish to keep yourself abreast of the latest updates, you may obtain your information from these credible sources:

Visit the Singapore Ministry of Health website at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19
Sign up for Gov.sg WhatsApp push notifications at: https://go.gov.sg/whatsapp
Visit the Channel NewsAsia microsite: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/topics/wuhan-virus
Visit The Straits Times microsite: https://www.straitstimes.com/coronavirus?hpbanner=
World Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

In the best interest of all students, parents, and staff, we strongly advise everyone to avoid going out unnecessarily, except to buy meals or daily necessities, or for urgent medical needs. We would also like to urge everyone to practise good hygiene habits and be vigilant and socially responsible during this period of uncertainty. Thank you.