The number of new infection cases in the community has almost doubled to more than 1,200 cases in the week ending 5 September 2021, up from around 600 cases in the week before. Should the COVID-19 infections continue at this trajectory, cases will double every week and put a strain on hospital capacity.
To slow down community transmission, more pervasive testing as well as additional measures to detect cases quickly and reduce infections in workplaces will be introduced. This will buy us time to get more people, such as our seniors, to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and also to roll out our booster programme to those aged 60 and above.
Updates to Public Health Actions
Once a cluster is identified, the Ministry of Health will issue an SMS “Health Risk Warning” (HRW) or
Health Risk Alert” (HRA) to individuals to cast a net around the cases, in addition to the quarantine of close contacts. The HRW and HRA are not quarantine orders but individuals who receive the HRW are required by law to get PCR tests and to self-isolate. For both HRW and HRA, individuals should reduce their social interactions for 14 days.
Please refer to MOH’s website for more details on what to do after receiving a HRW or HRA.
Updates to Testing Regimes
From 13 September 2021, changes will be made to the Fast and Easy Test (FET) Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) regime to detect and ringfence infections early:
The Government will continue to subsidise the costs of all tests until end 2021.
In addition, each company in other sectors will be given eight ART kits per employee, to step up regular testing for those at workplaces. With these kits, employers will be expected to initiate weekly testing for onsite staff, which can be administered by the individuals at home or at the workplace.
More information on the enhanced testing and distribution of ART kits will be available later.
Workplace Safe Management Measures and Social Gatherings
Due to recent clusters in workplaces and lax safe management measures, social gatherings at workplaces will no longer be allowed from 8 September 2021.
The Ministry of Health will also take tougher action if there are positive cases among workers who are infected. In particular, employers will be required to put in place a maximum Work-From-Home (WFH) requirement over 14 days, should one or more of their workers be found to have contracted COVID-19 and have returned to their workplace. This means that everyone in the company who can WFH will be required to do so.
As for social gatherings, these will be limited to one a day, whether to another household or in public places. All individuals are strongly encouraged to self-test regularly with Antigen Rapid Test kits.
Towards a COVID-19 Resilient Singapore
We seek everyone’s cooperation to self-test and observe safe management measures, so that we can lower transmission risks and work together towards a COVID-19 resilient nation. For more information, please visit MOH's website.