SINGAPORE - The Ministry of National Development is studying ways to provide more options for stay-home notice facilities to meet travellers' different preferences and budgets.
As it does so, it will not compromise on the safety of travellers, operational staff and the general community, said Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How on Thursday (Feb 25).
He was responding to Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC), who had asked if the Government will consider a tiered pricing schedule for such facilities so that travellers can pick accommodation that "commensurate with their affordability and level of comfort".
To minimise operational complexity, travellers are assigned to specific stay-home notice dedicated facilities upon arriving at checkpoints, Mr Tan said. The cost structure is largely similar across such facilities, and so a standard fee is charged.
At the same time, the Government recognises that certain travellers may have specific needs and considers appeals on a case-by-case basis, based on travellers' financial or personal circumstances, he added.
"For instance, those who require elderly or disability-friendly facilities, or those travelling with children may require specific room arrangements."
He also acknowledged that travellers would like to have more choice and flexibility in serving their stay-home notices.
In response, Ms Foo said she has been getting feedback from many families - especially those bringing in foreign domestic helpers - that paying for the mandatory stay-home notices adds up to a significant sum.
The cost of testing for foreign domestic workers is currently borne by employers, while the cost of stay-home notice can be split between the employment agencies and employers, depending on their individual arrangements.
"I would like to appeal for the Government to think of a more economical option," Ms Foo said.
Mr Tan said there are already different tiers of stay-home notice dedicated facilities for certain archetypes of travellers, such as foreign domestic workers or those in the construction or marine industries.
He also acknowledged Ms Foo's point, adding: "We will look at those cases on a case-by-case basis."