Last Updated: 21 October 2022

FAQs: COVID-19 related matters

Updated on 21 Oct 2022, 2:40pm

National examinations

For more information on the National Examinations, please visit SEAB’s website at www.seab.gov.sg.

Back-to-school arrangements
What are the arrangements for Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) for the resumption of term in 2022?

The Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have increased the number of students allowed back on campus at any one time for face-to-face learning.

More student activities and large scale student events will resume in line with national guidelines on group sizes and event sizes.

I am still concerned about the COVID-19 situation. Can I choose for my child to remain on Home-Based Learning (HBL) after school reopens?

We would like to reassure parents that schools would be making every effort to implement the various safe management measures to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Allowing your child to return to school would ensure your child's teachers are able to work with your child effectively.

How can Student's Pass (STP) holders enter Singapore?

All fully vaccinated travellers and non-fully vaccinated children aged 12 and below may travel to Singapore without applying for entry approvals.

Non-fully vaccinated travellers aged 13 and above may also travel to Singapore without applying for entry approvals or undergoing SHN. However, they will be required to test negative on a Pre-Departure Test (PDT) within 2 days before departure for Singapore. They will also continue to be required to fulfil vaccination requirements after their arrival in Singapore. Please visit the ICA's website for more information on prevailing entry requirements.

If you require further assistance, you may call the SafeTravel Enquiries Helpline at +65 6812 5555 (operating from 8.30am - 12.00am daily), or write to the Safe Travel Office using the enquiry form.

Can my child still choose to wear a face mask in school?

In line with the national posture, mask-wearing will no longer be mandatory in indoor school settings under the revised SMMs. However, students (including those in MOE Kindergartens and Kindergarten Care centres) who prefer to continue wearing masks may do so.

Resumption of activities in schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) - updated
With the easing of community measures, are there any Vaccination-Differentiated SMMs (VDS) in schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)? [UPDATED]

VDS is not implemented in our schools or IHLs (i.e. COVID-19 vaccination is not a requirement for physical attendance).

However, where there are public health reasons to better protect our students participating in higher risk activities, additional measures will be put in place.

Will my child's participation in CCA be affected if he/she is not fully vaccinated?

Students are able to participate in their CCAs regardless of their vaccination status.

Home-Based Learning (HBL)
What are MOE's considerations in deciding whether to shift all schools to Full Home-Based Learning (HBL)? Under what circumstances will MOE roll out nationwide Full HBL?

As far as possible, our approach has been to keep schools open, as we recognise that HBL cannot be a full substitute for the school-based learning experience, especially for coursework and CCAs.

We had shifted all primary/secondary schools and JCs/MI to Full HBL in May 2021 for 1.5 weeks, as part of a stepping up of precautionary measures to safeguard the well-being of all students and staff, given the sharp increase in the number of community cases and our students were not eligible for vaccinations then.

With high vaccination rates in primary/secondary schools and JCs/MI currently, there is less necessity to implement Full HBL for the entire system. Where necessary, MOE will apply it to selected classes, levels or individual schools on a temporary basis to stem the spread of infection, or as a practical option to ensure continuity of learning with high absentee numbers.

What if there is no one to look after my young child when he/she is at home for Full Home-Based Learning (HBL)?

Schools will remain open for students who require additional support. In particular, parents who are not able to work from home or who are unable to secure alternative care arrangements may approach their child’s school for assistance.

Preschools and student care centres, including special student care centres, are open during regular hours to support parents who need to work.

How will students continue with their learning from home during Full Home-Based Learning (HBL)? Will the teachers be able to remotely supervise the class?

Schools will provide instructions and support for students to access a range of both online and hardcopy learning materials to ensure continuity of learning during Full HBL.

Teachers can use the Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) online platform to monitor their students' learning progress and submission of assignments. In addition, teachers may use real-time video conferencing platforms to conduct some of their lessons, where necessary.

We encourage students to exercise self-discipline in following their teachers' instructions and completing their lessons and assignments. Our teachers will continue to keep in regular contact with students to provide support. For students who do not have access to computing devices or internet connectivity, schools can loan the necessary devices to students.

My child is studying in a Special Education (SPED) school. How will the school support the learning of my child during Full Home-Based Learning (HBL)?

SPED schools will continue to provide instructions and support for students to access a range of both online and hardcopy HBL materials, so that learning continues uninterrupted.

For SPED students who do not have computing devices or internet access schools will assist them in securing them or arrange for students to return to school.

SPED teachers will provide students and their parents with HBL support, and maintain regular contact with them.

How can I help facilitate/support my child's learning at home?

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Work out a daily schedule/routine with your child - guide your child in setting goals and scheduling tasks, as part of developing the valuable life skills of time management and self-discipline which your child can acquire when doing Home-Based Learning (HBL). For further tips on guiding your child in setting goals, please refer to the Resilience Boosters here.
  • Have an agreement with your child on managing screen time. When it comes to using technology to support HBL, schools will assign a defined amount of time for online learning each day. You can work out an agreement with your child to take short breaks in between online learning, and manage their recreational screen time, e.g. time spent on video games and social media. They can replace recreational screen time with healthy offline activities, such as reading books or playing board games with family members. Encourage your child to take a break after every 30 min of screen time, and focus their eyes on something far away. For further tips and guides on reinforcing your child's cyber wellness, please click here.

You may refer to MOE Parent Kit for more tips on how you can support your child's learning from home.

How can I better support my child’s emotional well-being as he/she adjusts between Home-Based Learning (HBL) and returning to school for lessons?

Adjusting to a new school routine may be a stressful experience for your child. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Have regular check-ins and conversations to foster a stronger relationship with your child.
  • Encourage your child to maintain an optimistic and positive outlook while watching out for possible signs of stress.

You may also refer to MOE Parent Kit for tips on how to support your child emotionally.

Are other video conferencing tools allowed, other than Zoom and Google Meet? How can schools ensure that these platforms are used securely?

Teachers currently use a range of video conferencing (VC) tools. While Zoom and Google Meet are two of the most commonly-used platforms, teachers could also choose to use other platforms like Facebook Live and Cisco WebEx.

Schools are provided with security protocols and guidelines when using VC for teaching and learning. They should remind staff to adhere to these protocols to avoid potential security issues.

Students must also be responsible users of technology and play their part by observing appropriate behaviour when video conferencing (e.g. following their teachers' instructions, not sharing passwords with others).

COVID-19 vaccination

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination for children, please visit MOH’s website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vaccination/child.

Expanded surveillance testing for COVID-19
Do all students and staff need to get tested for COVID-19?

Anyone who is feeling unwell, especially if they display respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, cough or sore throat, may see a doctor at their nearest Swab-and-Send-Home (SASH) Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC), which can be found on https://flu.gowhere.gov.sg. The doctor will then assess the need for a confirmatory swab test to be administered. Symptomatic persons are encouraged to test themselves using an Antigen Rapid Test (ART). They may need to repeat the ART daily over a few days to rule out the possibility of false negatives in the early stages of an infection.

Students aged 16 and below should be accompanied by a parent/guardian for the confirmatory swab test. This facilitates consent-taking and communication to both the student and parent/guardian on the precautions to take note of while awaiting the test results at home. However, for students from SPED schools, they should be accompanied by a parent/guardian, regardless of age.

Why is COVID-19 testing needed?

Testing complements the other safe management measures we have put in place to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of teachers and students. This is to allow us to identify COVID-19 cases earlier and to reduce potential spread in the schools/education institutions and community.

What will staff/students getting tested for COVID-19 need to bring along with them? Is payment for the swab test required?

MOE staff and students will need to bring along their student/staff pass that has their NRIC/FIN number. Non-MOE staff who work in schools or with school students will need to bring along a letter of identification from the school and a form of identification with their NRIC/FIN number. A mask should be worn at all times.

Students aged 13 to 16 should be accompanied by a parent/guardian for the test. This facilitates consent-taking and communication to both the student and parent/guardian on the precautions to take note of while awaiting the test results at home.

The cost of the Covid-19 testing at polyclinics and Public Health Preparedness Clinics arising from a diagnosis of an Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) will be covered by the government.

Precautionary measures in schools - updated
What are the updates to precautionary measures for MOE Kindergartens (MK), schools and institutes of higher learning, and when do these updates take effect?

In line with the Ministry of Health's (MOH) updates to the national COVID-19 health situation, MOE will be updating the precautionary measures currently implemented in MKs, primary and secondary schools, Special Education (SPED) schools, junior colleges (JCs)/ Millennia Institute (MI), as well as Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).

The table below provides an overview of the updated categories of precautionary measures in schools and IHLs:

Category Arrangements
Confirmed Case To adhere to MOH's health protocols.
What should the student or staff do when the household member is confirmed to be a COVID-19 case?

In living with COVID-19, the emphasis is on social responsibility. If at any point the student or staff has a household member who is confirmed to be a COVID-19 case on Protocol 1 or Protocol 2, they should exercise social responsibility and take the necessary precautions under Protocol 3 (i.e. test themselves to be negative before leaving their homes, to prevent further spread). They can attend school if self-tested negative on the ART daily and are well during their self-monitoring.

Students and staff with household members who are unwell do not need to alert the school. If the student/staff is well, they are allowed to go to school.

With the easing of community measures, what are the updates to the safe management measures put in place in schools? [UPDATED]

In line with the national posture, the updates are:

  • No group size and safe distancing requirements for school activities including recess;
  • All students will be able to participate in activities regardless of their vaccination status;
  • No capacity limit for school events; and
  • TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-ins in schools are no longer required.

To continue to safeguard the well-being of our students and staff, safe management measures in primary and secondary schools (including SPED schools) and JCs/MI will continue to include the following:

Screening

  • School staff will carry out daily general screening of students' well-being. Students and staff who are unwell with flu-like symptoms, are required to stay away from school. They should seek medical attention if needed and be tested for COVID-19 if required.

Hygiene

  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces in school premises.
  • Students are advised to practise personal and social responsibility to protect themselves and others, such as not attending school if unwell, frequent hand-washing throughout the school day and wiping down of tables and shared equipment after use.

Mask wearing

  • Mask-wearing is not mandatory for both indoor and outdoor settings, except on public transportation (MRT/LRT/public buses but not school buses/taxis) and healthcare settings. However, those who prefer to continue wearing masks may do so.
Can all Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and external activities continue?

To enrich the learning experiences and better support the long-term holistic development and well-being of our students, MOE has resumed most school activities, including CCAs and residential camps, in our schools.

All schools have resumed in-person CCA in school, based on the prevailing national Safe Management Measures (SMMs).

CCAs held at external venues, residential camps, learning journeys and community-based VIA can proceed, subject to external venue's SMMs, where applicable.

What are the precautionary measures in place for school-based examinations?

The conduct of school-based examinations is aligned to prevailing school SMMs.

Is it compulsory for my child to attend the CCAs?

Students are expected to attend CCA sessions that have been scheduled whether these are in-person or online. Consistent with usual school practice, students who are unable to attend CCA due to valid reasons can be excused.

What should my child do if an ART positive test result is obtained

If your child is well but tested positive, he/she should self-isolate at home for 72 hours before doing a second ART. Your child may resume daily activities after the 72 hours of self-isolation, including returning to school, if the second ART is negative and he/she is well. Should the second ART remain positive after 72 hours, your child should:

  1. Continue to self-isolate and repeat the ART daily until it is negative; OR
  2. Until 12pm on Day 7 (for vaccinated students and students below 12 years old); OR
  3. Until 12pm on Day 14 (for unvaccinated / partially vaccinated students aged 12 years old and above).

If your child is unwell, tested positive, and is 12 years old and below, please bring your child to the nearest Swab-and-Send-Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC) offering paediatric swab tests. For those with mild symptoms and tested positive, you may consider self-recovery at home, under MOH’s Protocol 2.

  1. For your child's visit to the SASH PHPC clinic, you should bring along (1) a photo of the positive ART test result with the child's identification document (ID) (e.g. NRIC/passport) captured within the same image and (2) the child's physical identification document (ID).
  2. For children aged 6 years and below, parents/guardians may use the child's Birth Certificate or Health Booklet as their identification document (ID).
  3. Parents/guardians may visit https://flu.gowhere.gov.sg to locate a SASH PHPC clinic that offers government-funded swab tests for children under the age of 13. Please call ahead to confirm that the clinic can offer the relevant test during your visit (e.g. paediatric swab tests for children under the age of 13).

If your child's symptoms worsen (e.g. prolonged fever, worsening cough, breathing difficulties etc.) or do not improve, please seek medical attention immediately. As part of being socially responsible, students who are unwell should not return to school.

For those with any of the underlying conditions as stated in MOH Press release, they should see a doctor if they did a self-swab ART.

If my child is tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to obtain a Medical Certificate (MC) to account for my child’s absence in school?

In line with the prevailing national COVID-19 health protocol, students who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not required to produce a Medical Certificate (MC), doctor’s letter or recovery memo to cover their absence.

However, if your child is unwell, he/she should seek medical attention. If they test positive for COVID-19, they should follow MOH’s Protocol 1 or Protocol 2 and self-isolate until they test negative on an self-administered ART after 72 hours. Should they continue to test positive, they are to self-isolate until day 7 if fully vaccinated or below 12 years old; or day 14 if unvaccinated/partially vaccinated and aged 12 and above.

Those who are well and test positive should follow MOH’s Protocol 2 and self-isolate for 72 hours. Thereafter, they should conduct another ART self-test. Student can end self-isolation and return to school when a negative ART result is obtained.

Schools may ask returning students for photo evidence of their negative ART results for those who wish to return after 72 hours of self-isolation and before their time-based discharge.

What happens if there is a confirmed case in my child's class?

For MOE Kindergartens / Primary Schools/ Secondary Schools/Junior Colleges/Millennia Institute/SPED schools

MOH will no longer issue Health Risk Notices (HRN) to close contacts of COVID-positive patients from 26 April 2022.

Schools will carry out disinfection in areas visited by the child tested positive for COVID-19.

There will be a small number of students with SEN who are neither able to wear a mask nor a face shield. Will exceptions be made for such students whether in SPED or Mainstream Schools?

Most students with SEN can and therefore should wear a mask or face shield. Some may have sensory challenges which cause distress when wearing a mask or face shield. Hence we will exercise flexibility in enforcement. Parents should obtain a letter from a qualified medical/allied health professional if their child with SEN is unable to wear either a mask or face shield.

For specific groups of students with SEN, such as those with hearing loss and who lip-read, there will be some allowance for them, as well as their teachers and peers, to adopt the most appropriate safe management measures while allowing teaching and learning to continue. For example, during lessons and communication, these students, their teachers and their peers may need to wear face shields to facilitate lip-reading.

Why are we not disinfecting shoes and clothing of students?

MOH has shared that there is currently no evidence that spraying disinfectant on a fully clothed individual would 'disinfect' the individual. In addition, as the virus is carried within the airways of the infected person, spraying disinfectant onto the skin cannot eradicate it. The disinfectant may also cause skin irritation or other complications such as eczema.

How does MOE ensure safe management in school buses?

Schools will continue to work with their school bus operators to ensure they check with students if they feel unwell, or have flu-like symptoms. Students who report so should not board the bus but stay at home.

Will there be testing of SPED school personnel?

Students in our SPED schools, just like their peers in mainstream schools, generally do not need physical assistance. But there are some SPED students who are physically frail and would need help from the staff. For example, students with multiple disabilities may need staff to help move them from a wheelchair to another piece of equipment. We will be looking into testing staff who work closely with the more vulnerable students.

Do I need to inform my child's school if my workplace has a confirmed case?

There is no need to inform the school if your workplace has a confirmed case.

Please continue to adopt good personal hygiene practices, and seek medical assistance immediately if you or your child are unwell.

What school facilities will be open for public use under the Dual-Use Scheme (DUS)?

In line with the progressive resumption of activities in Singapore, SportSG and MOE will reopen selected DUS Chargeable Fields (CFs) and Indoor Sport Halls (ISHs) for public use from 21 August 2021 onwards. Bookings can be made in advance through the ActiveSG app from 17 August 2021.

All other DUS free-to-play (FTP) facilities will remain closed to the public till further notice.

For more information on the DUS facilities that will be open for public use, as well as the booking details, please refer to https://myactivesg.com.

MOE and SportSG will continue to review the DUS arrangements as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Do MOE's precautionary measures apply to school vendors?

The precautionary measures schools have implemented to safeguard the well-being of students and staff also apply to school vendors. Individuals who exhibit flu-like symptoms, will be asked to seek medical assistance immediately. Vendors who operate outside schools, such as school bus vendors and coaches, have also been advised to adopt good personal hygiene practices and seek immediate medical attention should they feel unwell. Vendors are required to inform the school should they or any of their staff go on medical leave.

CCA records
What adjustments have been made to ensure that students are not unduly penalised in terms of their co-curricular records and LEAPS 2.0 attainment?

MOE has implemented a set of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on students' 2022 co-curricular records, including secondary school students' LEAPS 2.0 attainment.

For the LEAPS 2.0 framework, which recognises the holistic development of secondary students, adjustments have been made to the four domains – Achievement, Leadership, Participation and Service domains – so that students will continue to be recognised for their involvement in co-curricular activities (CCA).

Under the Achievement domain, MOE has implemented a special provision to recognise students whose competition/event have not resumed. For students who are unable to participate due to SMM constraints (e.g. unvaccinated, under isolation) although their competitions/events have resumed, they will be recognised for Representation and their Accomplishment will be tagged to the same accomplishments as their CCA team.

Under the Leadership domain, schools will continue to recognise school, class and CCA-based leadership appointments, taking into account how the various leadership responsibilities might have been rescoped to continue to allow meaningful learning to take place.

Under the Participation domain, schools will recognise students' absence in CCA due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, e.g. students on Home Recovery Programme (HRP), Isolation Order or Self-Isolation. For students whose CCA participation was reduced due to their vaccination status (e.g. fewer practices per week for unvaccinated students who could not participate in bigger team sport formats), their attendance records will be pro-rated accordingly.

Under the Service domain, schools will continue to recognise students for their involvement in Values in Action (VIA) activities and projects, including time spent on various components such as planning, discussing, refining and reflecting on their projects.

Why is benchmarking removed for the SYF 2022 Arts Presentation for the Primary Level?

In-person CCA in the primary level was suspended in semester 2, 2021. While in-person CCA resumed with group rehearsals in Jan 2022 for masked-on groups (e.g. guitar ensemble), a significant number of CCAs involving singing and wind/brass instruments only resumed group rehearsals in term 2, 2022.

To mitigate the impact of the measures listed above on the level of preparedness, the SYF Arts Presentation Primary Level [SYF AP (Pri)] season was postponed from the April to May period till the end-June to August period. Benchmarking was also removed this year for the primary level SYF AP (Pri). All participating schools will continue to receive feedback from the panel of adjudicators. Schools will be able to recognise students' participation through their CCA record.

Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) - updated
How will IHLs safeguard the well-being of staff and students on campus? [UPDATED]

Safe management measures in IHLs are aligned to the national posture. However, where there are public health reasons to better protect our students participating in higher risk activities, additional measures will be put in place.

Screening

  • Students and staff who are unwell with flu-like symptoms are required to stay away from campus. They should seek medical attention immediately and be tested for COVID-19. Unwell individuals should remain at home until they test negative for COVID-19.

Hygiene

  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces in school premises.

Mask Wearing

  • All students, staff, vendors and visitors are no longer required to wear masks in outdoors and indoors settings on campus. However, persons who wish to continue wearing a mask may do so.
Will IHL students still be able to participate in internships/work attachments?

Students should adhere to all prevailing Safe Management Measures at the organisations they are attached to as part of their internships/work attachments.

Can CCAs and activities/programmes continue in IHLs in 2022? [UPDATED]

CCAs and large-scale student activities in the IHLs have resumed in line with prevailing national guidelines on event sizes, group sizes, and Vaccination Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS).

Can official overseas placements (e.g. internship or exchange programmes) resume for the IHLs?

The IHLs can resume overseas exchange programmes, in line with MOH’s travel advisory. MOE will continue to monitor the global situation and work closely with the IHLs to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.

Private Education Institutions (PEI)
What requirements are PEIs subject to during this period?

PEIs are required to abide by the prevailing national SMMs.

PEIs are strongly encouraged to take reference from the SMMs for ECDA-registered preschools, MOE schools and IHLs, if they wish to adopt measures that are tighter than national SMMs.

PEIs with clarifications should approach SkillsFuture Singapore at CPE_Registration@ssg.gov.sg.

Private tuition and enrichment
1. What are the safe management measures for tuition and enrichment?

Safe management measures for tuition and enrichment are aligned with national guidelines available at MOH's website.

Centres that continue on-site instructions are required to abide by the nationwide safe management measures for workplaces. More information can be found on Ministry of Manpower's website.

Centres must also abide by other sector-specific safe management measures available on GoBusiness' website.

Prevailing circulars issued by the Government, and the latest guidance on improving ventilation and indoor air quality in buildings can be found on NEA's website.

Continuing Education and Training (CET) for Adults
What are the safe management measures for Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses?

In alignment with national guidelines, mask wearing is no longer required in most Training Providers (TPs') premises from 29 August 2022. Learners, trainers, and other employees may remove their masks during classes and assessments, as well as in the work and office premises. TPs operating at healthcare and public transport settings need to continue complying with the mask-wearing requirement.

Further details can be found at SSG CIRCULAR.