Parents accompanying newly enrolled children at pre-school must be vaccinated

Only one parent may be with their child for half a day during the first two days of preschool.
Only one parent may be with their child for half a day during the first two days of preschool.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Parents accompanying their children who are newly enrolled in pre-school will need to be vaccinated, in line with new rules issued by the authorities on Thursday (Sept 9), according to a document seen by The Straits Times.

A parent is considered vaccinated if he or she has received a full regimen of a Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnatry, Moderna or World Health Organisation's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) vaccine, with an additional two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective.

The document states that those who have recovered from Covid-19 or have had a negative result on an antigen rapid test taken at a Health Ministry approved provider at least 24 hours before the end of the first visit with their child will be considered a vaccinated parent.

Since Aug 19, parents of newly enrolled children have been allowed to be with them at pre-school subject to safe management measures. Only one parent may be with their child for half a day during the first two days of pre-school.

The same parent should go along with their child on both days to minimise the number of visitors, said the document.

The new rules also permit parents of children with additional needs to be at school longer to help them adjust.

In addition, the document reiterates guidance for pre-school children and staff who have been issued health risk warnings (HRW) and health risk alerts (HRA). All children and staff who receive such notifications have to inform the pre-school.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said on Monday that the Government will issue HRWs to ring-fence cases more quickly as the number of community infections spike over the past week. These will be sent to individuals identified as close contacts of Covid-19 cases or who have been near a patient for an extended period of time.

Under the new rules, pre-schools have to grant leave of absence to children or staff for the duration of the health risk warning.

People who receive HRWs must get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and isolate themselves until they receive a negative result.

They may return to school on receiving a negative PCR test taken 14 days from their last exposure to the confirmed case.

If a household member of children or staff receives a health risk warning, the document encourages pre-schools to also grant a leave of absence to the children or staff involved until the household member has a negative PCR test.

Children who receive health risk alerts or those who have been in Covid-19 hot spots are still allowed to attend pre-school if they are well.

However, the school is required to be "more vigilant in their health checks", said the document, adding that this includes checks on the health of family members of the children.

Meanwhile, staff who receive HRA notifications are encouraged to go for Covid-19 testing and monitor their health closely.