Covid-19 vaccination postponed, work affected for S'porean serving extended SHN

Singapore citizens and PRs being served stay-home notices by ICA officers at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on May 10, 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Mr Harry Ho was slated to get his first Covid-19 jab on May 16, three days after his 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) was supposed to end.

But the requirement for an extra week of SHN that kicked in on Saturday (May 8) has thrown his plans into disarray, said the 57-year-old Singaporean, who works in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Mr Ho, who arrived here on April 29, said he had made his travel plans based on the previous advisory requiring a 14-day SHN on his return to Singapore.

"All the appointments I've made have had to be rescheduled, and my trip back to work in Phnom Penh will be delayed," he said.

"If I had known that the quarantine will change to 21 days prior to my trip, I would have postponed it and considered alternative plans."

Mr Ho, who used to shuttle between Cambodia and Singapore every few months, said he might defer his next return to Singapore to prevent further inconveniences to his work.

He previously paid $2,000 upon arrival, excluding PCR tests. The additional week will cost him another $1,200, including an additional PCR test that he has to take on the 21st day.

When he asked the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) if there will be waivers for the additional cost, the ICA said that those currently serving SHN can appeal for a waiver, but it will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Ho also expressed frustration that travellers are unable to choose the hotel that they serve their SHN in.

Currently, travellers can only upgrade and serve their SHN in a suite, which costs upwards of $7,500 for a 21-day stay. There are no options to choose a more budget-friendly hotel.

He is currently serving his SHN at Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore, but recalled having a bad experience when he previously served his SHN at Ibis Styles Singapore in MacPherson.

He said: "During my previous stay in Ibis Styles, the room was small and the meals from their caterer was outrageously bad."

Mr Ho said he considers himself lucky that his extended SHN is at his current hotel.

He hopes the ICA will consider adding more tiered options, as travellers currently pay the same price whether they serve their SHN at a three-star hotel or at a five-star hotel.

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