In the coming weeks, the Government will continue to take further steps bringing Singapore towards a new COVID-normal.
All migrant worker dormitories will soon be cleared, allowing the vast majority of workers to resume work; travellers returning from essential travel will be allowed to tap on regular healthcare financing arrangements for suspected COVID-19 infection as we gradually open our borders; and more activities will be allowed to resume over time.
Testing of all migrant workers in the dormitories will be completed by 7 August 2020. In other words, all dormitories will be COVID-cleared, with the exception of several standalone blocks which serve as quarantine facilities.
With the completion of dormitory clearance, and facilitation of resumption of work by sector agencies, the vast majority of dormitory residents is expected to be able to resume work by mid- to late August.
COVID-19 treatment for returning travellers
The Government is gradually permitting essential travel through various travel arrangements.
From 7 August 2020, all Singapore Citizens (SCs)/Permanent Residents (PRs)/Long-Term Pass Holders (LTPHs) who travel abroad under permitted travel arrangements will be able to tap on regular healthcare financing arrangements for their inpatient medical bills, should they have onset of symptoms within 14 days of their return to Singapore and require hospital admission for suspected COVID-19 infection.
Permitted travel arrangements include Green/Fast Lanes which are currently in place, as well as any permitted travel arrangement that may be implemented in the future.
In other words, SCs/PRs will be eligible for Government subsidies and MediShield Life/Integrated Shield Plans coverage, and will be required to pay any remaining co-payment. LTPHs may tap on their prevailing financing arrangements (e.g. foreign worker insurance), where applicable.
SCs/PRs/LTPHs who are not under permitted travel arrangements and travel in breach of the travel advisories will continue to pay for their COVID-19 inpatient medical bills in full, with no access to subsidies and MediShield Life/Integrated Shield Plan coverage.
Short-Term Pass Holders entering Singapore under permitted travel arrangements will remain responsible for their medical bills, should they test positive for COVID-19.
Gradual resumption of activities; most events to remain virtual
Since 4 August 2020, wedding receptions of up to 50 persons have been allowed. The list of places where wedding receptions can be held is being gradually expanded to include more venues.
At the moment, wedding receptions are allowed only in controlled venues where safe management measures can be better implemented and enforced – such as restaurants, hotels, and public and private function rooms.
Selected indoor function spaces managed by NParks have been available for wedding receptions since 4 August 2020, while function rooms and multi-purpose halls at community centres/clubs will be available from 31 August 2020.
Most other events should continue to remain virtual for now. These include large gatherings and festivities surrounding national and community occasions, such as National Day (e.g. community concerts and observance ceremonies) and Seventh Lunar Month events (e.g. live auctions, getai performances).
Seventh Lunar Month prayers and post-funeral religious rites conducted by religious organisations with a good track record of implementing safe management measures, or by religious workers endorsed by these religious organisations, will be allowed to take place in places of worship and some external venues such as HDB common areas.
Towards the new COVID normal
While the Government will continue to monitor the situation closely, social responsibility remains key.
We will need to work and innovate together to achieve a new COVID-19 normal, where we can resume most activities and events safely.