Starting next Wednesday (4 November), travellers from nine countries who are coming to Singapore will be permitted to serve their stay-home notices (SHN) in the comfort of their own homes here.
The selected countries are Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement yesteday (27 October).
It added that eligible visitors from these countries can also apply from 2 November onwards to be not placed at any one of the dedicated stay-home notice facilities.
MOH also said that these travellers must not have been travelling outside of these nine countries in the last 14 days prior their entry into Singapore.
Additionally, they must also stay in their place of residence by themselves or only with household members who are also serving SHN with the same travel history and duration.
These travellers must ensure that they remain at their declared place of residence at all times, and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device. They have to turn on their device once they reach their place of residence.
MOM noted that physical spot checks will be carried out. Strict enforcement actions will be taken against those who breach their SHN or make false declarations.
Separately, the Ministry also revealed that from 1 January next year, all travellers coming into Singapore will have to bear the cost of their stay at dedicated SHN facilities, as well as their inpatient medical bills if they have an onset of symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of their entry to Singapore.
This new rule also applies to Singapore residents – namely Singapore citizens and permanent residents – who last left Singapore before 27 March. However, residents will be allowed to tap into regular healthcare financial arrangements for their inpatient medical bills.
Upon hearing this announcement, many netizens voiced their disagreement over the move, saying that allowing travellers from these nine countries to serve their SHN period in their own homes poses a big risk to the local population.
Commenting on the Facebook page of Yahoo! Singapore, they said that Singapore may witness a second wave of COVID-19 if just one irresponsible traveller decided to breach their SHN order.
One user said that the Government is getting too “complacent” with its way of handling the pandemic.
Others noted that allowing these international travellers to serve their SHN at their own homes can also push Singapore back to Phase 1 of its circuit breaker measures.
They added that this means that all of Singapore’s months of hard work will go to waste.
Others questioned why the Government is being extremely strict with citizens when it comes to their movement in the country but seem lenient with the travellers.
One user said that while those in Singapore have to obey stringent rules such as safe distancing or being issued high fines if they breach any rules, the Government opened its doors to visitors coming from countries with high number of COVID-19 cases.