(Singapore, Mar 4, 2020) As of midnight of today, long-term pass holders entering/returning to Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness may be required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has announced.

The holders of Singapore’s Permanent Resident, Employment Pass, Work Pass, S Pass and Dependant Pass, may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test.

However, pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, they will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.

Before the results are out, they are advised to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure.

MOM says that all work pass holders (including dependants) who refuse testing may have their immigration facilities and work pass privileges revoked or the validity shortened.

Those who do not comply with the testing or who cannot be contacted subsequently may face penalties and can be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Employers are advised to inform their work pass holders who are overseas that they may be required to undergo a swab test when they enter or return to Singapore.

Also with effect from late today, MOM will require all work pass holders (including dependants) with travel history to South Korea, northern Italy, or Iran within the last 14 days and planning to enter/return to Singapore, to obtain MOM’s approval before they commence their journey.

“This is regardless of the nationality of the work pass holder. The entry approval requirement applies to: existing work pass holders currently out of Singapore and In-Principle Approval holders who have yet to enter Singapore,” MOM says.

It says upon arrival in Singapore, all affected work pass holders will be placed on a mandatory 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). When applying for entry approval, employers will be required to declare to MOM that they have arranged for suitable premises to house these entering/returning employees for the duration of their SHN.

Employers are required to apply for entry approval using this online facility and should inform their affected employees (including their dependants) not to make travel plans to Singapore until approval has been received from MOM.

The employers will be required to send the MOM approval letter to the employees who will need to show it to the airline staff upon check-in and at the ICA checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.

Meanwhile, the entry approval requirement for work pass holders (including dependants) with travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days, remains unchanged.

Besides, employers and employees should closely monitor COVID-19-related developments and comply with both the travel and health advisories on the MOH website, MOM says.

It also says as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, there may be additional requirements imposed on work pass holders from time to time.

While MOM will publicise these requirements widely, it may not be possible to inform every employer or employee directly about each new set of requirements. Employers and employees are strongly advised to check the MOM’s website (http://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19) for the latest advisories.