Stricter 14-day stay-home notice for those returning from China

Travellers arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Feb 14, 2020. A new Stay-Home Notice will be introduced for Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from mainland China.
Travellers arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Feb 14, 2020. A new Stay-Home Notice will be introduced for Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from mainland China.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A mandatory stay-home notice will be introduced for Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from China: They have to remain at home at all times for 14 days.

The notice is stricter than the current leave of absence (LOA) requirements, which allow those under LOA to leave their homes briefly, for example, to get meals or to buy household supplies.

The "stay-home notice" scheme will take effect at 11.59pm today, and will apply to all returnees with recent travel history to China, outside of Hubei province, within the last 14 days.

LOAs for those with recent travel history to China, outside of Hubei province, will no longer be issued.

But those currently on LOAs will continue to serve them out.

In announcing the scheme, Minster for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on the coronavirus with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, said that while the LOA regime has been useful, the Government is constantly reassessing the situation.

"When we started the LOA in January, there were 4,000 cases outside of Hubei province in China. Now, it has tripled to 12,000," he said, noting that a substantial number of Singapore residents and long-term pass holders remain in China and can be expected to return in the coming weeks.

He added: "We think this is appropriate at this juncture. It will ensure that we reduce the number of imported cases coming back from China, and then we can focus our energies on limiting or reducing the risk of local transmission of the virus within Singapore."

Mr Wong also stressed that the authorities will enforce the requirements strictly.

 

Yesterday, two more cases were confirmed here, bringing the total to 77. Five more were discharged.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2020, with the headline 'Stricter 14-day stay-home notice for those returning from China'. Print Edition | Subscribe