askST: What if I test positive for Covid-19 but feel well, and when can we stop wearing masks?

Mask-wearing will likely be one of the last measures to go, even as Singapore lives with Covid-19 as an endemic disease. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Since new measures were announced by the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 on Saturday (Oct 9), several readers have written in with questions regarding healthcare protocols and vaccine-differentiated measures.

Here are the answers to some questions you might have:

Q: Can an unvaccinated person go to the eateries in shopping malls to buy take-out food?

A: While it is unclear whether you can enter a mall to buy take-out food, you can certainly do so from coffee shops and hawker centres. Alternatively, if you are able to, you could also order food delivered to your home.

Q: Are Covid-19-positive cases with no symptoms counted in the daily case count?

A: Yes, if they have taken their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and received a positive result.

Q: Under the new protocols, if I feel well but tested positive for Covid-19 with an antigen rapid test, will I be required to inform the Ministry of Health?

A: No. social responsibility is now a lot more important as Singapore moves towards a Covid-resilient society. Self-isolate for 72 hours, and inform your close contacts so that they can test themselves and monitor their health.

If you test negative after three days, you can resume your daily activities.

If you still continue to test positive, test yourself every day until you receive a negative result.

If you are a known close contact of a Covid-19 case and did not receive a health risk warning, test yourself with an ART kit and monitor your health for seven days.

Q: When is the earliest date I can get my booster jab and which vaccine should I choose?

A: If you are aged 30 and above, you can get your booster jab six months from when you received your second dose of the vaccine.

So if you had your second dose in June, you will be eligible for the booster jab six months later, in December.

If you had received an mRNA jab - either the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine - you can get either vaccine as your booster as the Expert Committee for Covid-19 Vaccination has advised that the two vaccines be treated as equivalent to each other for the booster strategy.

Q: As Singapore moves towards a new normal, when will the mask-wearing policy end?

A: Mask-wearing will likely be one of the last measures to go even as Singapore lives with Covid-19 as an endemic disease. Even if mandatory mask-wearing were to be removed, this would likely be for safer outdoor environments such as parks.

However, infectious diseases experts have said that mask-wearing should not be eased until the impact of such a move on the healthcare system is deemed to be minimal.

Q: Can a vaccinated foreigner enter malls and eat in hawker centres?

A: Yes. For a vaccinated foreigner to visit Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane, they must have a vaccination certificate that can be digitally verified.

An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer, Moderna or other World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing vaccines.

These include the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine, Sinopharm's BBIBP-CorV vaccine, Sinovac and the Serum Institute of India's Covishield vaccine.

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