SINGAPORE - Staff working in settings with unmasked clients or where there is prolonged contact between individuals will have to undergo regular Covid-19 testing, using tests such as rapid antigen tests (ART).
This 14-day regular fast and easy tests (FET) regime will be mandatory from around mid-July, the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force said in a virtual press conference on Friday (June 18).
Such staff includes employees of dine-in food and beverage establishments, those working in personal care services such as facial and nail services, spas, saunas, massage establishments, hairdressing, and make-up services; and people working in gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked.
The task force expects most of the FET to be done through a system of self-swabs that are supervised by employers.
To help businesses get started on the FET regime, there will be training programmes they can tap to train designated employees to supervise ART self-swabs for their staff. These training programmes will be free for the next three months. ART kits will be made available to establishments for these employer-supervised self-swabs.
Some F&B outlets have already sent their employees for training and are ready to implement regular testing progressively from June 21, said the task force.
Quick test centres (QTCs) will also be set up to help small businesses who are unable to organise the supervised self-swabs on their own, the task force said.
To start, one QTC each will be set up at Tekka and Yishun, which will be operational from June 21, with more such centres to come up progressively.
To further minimise the risks of transmission in these settings, the Government will facilitate earlier vaccination of individuals who work in these settings.
Visits to residential care homes serving the elderly are suspended till June 20. But with physical visits to these homes resuming from June 21, visitors will need to take an FET when they arrive, and produce a negative ART result before they will be allowed to enter.
"We seek the patience and understanding of visitors that some homes may require more time to put in place the necessary procedures for ART and will only be able to resume visits at a later date," the task force said.
Other homes may start off with a smaller number of visitors to allow them to stabilise their operational processes before accommodating a larger number of visitors.
Visitors should schedule visits with the homes ahead of time, and take into consideration the added time required to complete the ART procedure.