Coronavirus: People returning from UK and US to serve stay-home notice in dedicated facilities

A passenger (centre) is immediately given a pair of latex gloves to wear upon arrival at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on March 24, 2020.

SINGAPORE - Those returning from UK and the US from 11.59pm on Wednesday (March 25) will serve their 14-day stay-home notice in dedicated facilities instead of in their own homes.

The Ministry of Health is working with hotel operators to house returnees and will also arrange for them to be sent directly from the airport to the hotels.

Returnees will have their own room and toilet, and have all their meals provided, so that they may avoid physical contact with other individuals.

"For Singaporean parents whose children who are coming back after Wednesday, there is no need to go to the airport to fetch them. We will arrange transport for them to serve out their 14-day isolation requirements," National Development Minister Lawrence Wong told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

"We do expect more Singaporeans and Singapore residents to come home from these countries, especially given the lockdown in these countries," Mr Wong added. "So far, none have gone on to infect their family members. But family members are still worried, there is always a risk that infection can happen to someone in close proximity."

Those who have already returned from the US and UK and are currently serving their stay-home notice in their homes may also apply to stay in these dedicated facilities.

The move was one of a range of new measures announced on Tuesday amid a wave of imported cases.

The Ministry of Health noted that those coming in from the UK and US account for the largest share of imported cases by far. About 1,200 people a day have been returning from these two countries.

Singapore confirmed 49 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, as students and workers continued to return home in droves from abroad.

This brings the total number of infected patients here to 558 as of Tuesday.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.