Coronavirus: Singapore

Staff who work in places with unmasked clients to get regular rapid testing

From July 15, staff in higher-risk settings will have to undergo regular rapid testing for Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) had announced on June 10 that as more activities resume, all staff who work in settings with unmasked clients and patrons will be put on a "Fast and Easy testing" (FET) regime, using tests such as the antigen rapid test.

Yesterday, MOH said it has been working with businesses to carry out rostered routine testing using such tests either at Quick Test Centres or through a process known as an Employer-Supervised Self-Swab, where employees will swab themselves under the supervision of a trained staff member.

The Ministry said that as "many of the systems are now in place", such tests will be made mandatory for staff in gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked, personal care services such as massage establishments, and dine-in food and beverage (F&B) outlets.

Responding to the news, a spokesman for the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) told The Straits Times that it believes FET is a "critical milestone" along the nation's road to reopening.

The spokesman said the association has been working closely with Enterprise Singapore to coordinate training sessions for employees supervising the testing, as well as the collection of antigen rapid test kits for association members and the F&B community.

He added that RAS will work with the authorities to complete all training by July 15, and to collect the kits in time.

The spokesman noted that many F&B outlets will be carrying out the self-administered tests for the first time, and familiarising their staff with the routine testing regime, which requires test results to be recorded and uploaded.

"We seek the understanding of the enforcement officers on the ground, to exercise some flexibility in their enforcement," said the spokesman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2021, with the headline 'Staff who work in places with unmasked clients to get regular rapid testing'. Subscribe