askST: If I am unvaccinated against Covid-19, how can I still enter shopping malls if I need to?

The new vaccination-differentiated safe management measures kicked in on Wednesday (Oct 13).
The new vaccination-differentiated safe management measures kicked in on Wednesday (Oct 13).ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Unvaccinated individuals are no longer able to visit attractions, dine at hawker centres and coffee shops or enter shopping malls without proof of a valid reason and prior testing for Covid-19.

Unvaccinated children 12 years old and younger - an age group that currently does not have access to the vaccination programme - are exempted.

The new vaccination-differentiated safe management measures kicked in on Wednesday (Oct 13).

Unvaccinated people who wish to enter shopping malls for essential activities like medical or childcare purposes will have to provide proof of their medical appointment or a letter of support from the pre-school or childcare centre.

According to the Ministry of Health's (MOH) website, those who are unvaccinated can still enter malls if they have a negative pre-event test (PET) result or show proof that they have recovered from Covid-19.

Q: What is PET?

A: PETs refer to a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or an antigen rapid test (ART) administered or supervised by MOH-approved Covid-19 test providers.

Negative results obtained from a self-administered ART or self-administered ART performed under supervision by parties other than MOH-approved Covid-19 test providers are not recognised.

MOH has an online list of approved Covid-19 test providers.

There are more than 1,000 clinics providing PETs.

It costs between $28 and $60 to take an ART at these clinics.

Q: Will the PET results show on the TraceTogether app?

A: The PET results, which are valid for 24 hours, are shown on the TraceTogether app.

However, the MOH website does not state the frequency test providers are expected to send data to update the TraceTogether app.

GovTech, which is in charge of TraceTogether, says on its website that data from test providers may take time to be updated.

Those relying on PET to get into malls should ask their test provider to ensure that the data is uploaded before their visit so that their TraceTogether app is updated.

The SMS with test results received after PCR and ART tests taken at approved Covid-19 test providers cannot be used for entry into malls, said Enterprise Singapore.

Q: Besides the TraceTogether app, what are the other documents accepted for verification of test results?

A: According to the MOH website, the documents accepted for verification of test results are:

- SafeEntry (Business) app used by businesses to check the TraceTogether tokens;

- Covid-19 ART or PCR test result on HealthHub app;

- Covid-19 test result notices issued by MOH-approved Covid-19 test providers in printed, hard-copy form.

Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 can provide a PET exemption notice in hard copy from clinics offering ART or PCR testing services.

They can also provide discharge memos in hard or soft copy from medical facilities.

Discharge memos are valid for exemption for 270 days from the date of the first PCR test when they tested positive.