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Stay at home as much as you can

Charmaine Ng on 25 Mar 2020

The Straits Times


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Sweeping measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore were announced on Tuesday (March 24) by the Government’s multi-ministry task force tackling the outbreak.


These include the closure of entertainment outlets and limiting gatherings outside of work and school to 10 people or fewer. 


With the 49 new cases reported on Tuesday, the total number of imported cases here is 326.


This is nearly three in five of all 558 confirmed coronavirus cases here.


The risk is expected to heighten in coming days as more Singaporeans return from abroad.


All returnees from Britain and the US will have to serve their mandatory 14-day stay-home notice in dedicated hotels to reduce transmission.


Here's a look at the recent measures:

FROM MARCH 26, 11.59PM

  • Gatherings outside of work and school limited to 10 persons or fewer. People must keep at least 1m apart in non-transient gatherings (e.g. a yoga class).
  • Bars and entertainment venues like night clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres and karaoke outlets, will be closed until April 30. This might be extended if the situation does not improve. 
  • Malls, museums and attractions, where contact is more transient, may remain open. But they must abide by the following:
  1. Reduce the number of people at any one time and keep to no more than one person per 16 sq m of usable space. This is about the size of an HDB flat bathroom.
  2. Groups must not exceed 10 persons. 
  3. Indoor and outdoor shows within attractions will be suspended, as will museum group tours and open atrium sales events.
  4. Make sure there is at least 1m physical space between patrons, including at queues and waiting areas They should try to offer services by appointment or digitally. Crowds should be quickly cleared.
  5. Places that can't meet these requirements must be closed. If found to be a place of transmission because they did not adhere to these measures, they may face additional penalties. 
  • Organised tours in public venues such as sightseeing or guided walking tours will be suspended. 
  • Centre-based tuition and enrichment classes will be suspended.
  • Religious services and congregations will be suspended. Places of worship may open for private worship and essential rites but group sizes kept to 10 persons or fewer at any one time. 
  • Events and mass gatherings including conferences, concerts, sporting events must be deferred or cancelled, regardless of size. 
  • All social gatherings and events with more than 10 persons at a time, such as private birthday parties and weddings, are discouraged.
  • Funerals and wakes should be limited to family members with gatherings of 10 persons or fewer at a time. 



  • Singapore residents and long-term pass holders who disregard travel advisories and leave Singapore will have to pay unsubsidised rates at public hospitals if they are admitted for suspected Covid-19 and develop symptoms within 14 days of their return. 
  • Residents will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals. 
  • Any work pass holder and his dependent who leave Singapore will be deprioritised for entry approval. 



  • Suspension of activities is extended to April 30. Seniors are urged to avoid social gatherings and crowded places, and to go out only for essential purposes like work and to buy food.



  • Those coming back from the US and Britain will be transported from the airport to selected hotels to serve their 14-day stay home notice (SHN), with effect from March 25, 11.59pm. They will not be allowed to leave their rooms. 
  • Those who have already returned and are serving their SHN at home may apply to stay in these hotels. Call 68125555.
  • Pre-school and primary school pupils living with anyone who returns from any country from March 25, 11.59pm, will be placed on 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA).
  • Pre-school and primary school pupils living with anyone who returns to Singapore from Britain, the US or Asean countries on or after March 14, will be placed on LOA.



  • Those who are clinically well but still test positive will be transferred to a community isolation facility at D'Resort NTUC and stay there till their test comes back negative.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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