Last Updated: 08 September 2021

Stringent FET Notice for Tuition and Enrichment Centres

13 August 2021
(Last updated: 8 September 2021)

Dear Enterprises

FAST AND EASY TESTING FOR THE PRIVATE TUITION AND ENRICHMENT SECTOR

1.Since late-June 2021, the Fast and Easy Testing (“FET”) regime has been progressively rolled out for higher risk sectors, including for staff in the arts and culture, and sports sector who may come into close contact with participants engaged in unmasked activities. FET will now be required for all cleaners working in private tuition and enrichment centres that have any student aged 12 years old and below (i.e. born in 2009 or later).

With effect from 3 September 2021 onwards, all enterprises in the private tuition and enrichment sector)1 (“Enterprises”) must comply with the mandatory requirements set out in this updated notice. For avoidance of doubt, the mandatory requirements are specified in the paragraphs below prefaced with the words ‘[Mandatory]’

Background

2.The purpose of the FET regime is to further reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in settings with unmasked clients or where services are performed under prolonged and close contact with clients. Under the FET regime, enterprises are required to ensure that their employees and persons who work under their direction (e.g. contractors and subcontractors) undergo regular FET using the COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (“ART”), regardless of their vaccination status. Self-employed persons working in these settings should also ensure that they adhere to the FET regime.

3.The FET regime and the mandatory requirements set out in this notice are imposed on Enterprises under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020. Failure to comply with the requirements set out herein may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations 2.

FET Requirements for Enterprises

4.[Updated 8 Sep 2021] [Mandatory] All Enterprises must ensure that their cleaners3 (referred to as “Workers” henceforth) undergo FET at least once every 14 days (the “FET Requirement”). From 13 September 2021 onwards, the FET Requirement is amended to: all Enterprises must ensure that their Workers undergo FET at least once every 7 days.

5.[Mandatory] After their Workers undergo FET, Enterprises shall:

  1. verify4 the test results obtained by their Workers;
  2. not allow any Worker that has obtained an “AG+” or “AG Invalid”, “Double Invalid” test result (please refer to ANNEX A on details of the various test results) to enter or remain at the workplace;
  3. direct any Worker that has obtained an “AG+” or “Double Invalid’ test result to undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) test and self-isolate at home; and
  4. only allow the Worker described in paragraph 5(3) to enter or remain in the work-place if that Worker has subsequently undergone a PCR test and the test result of that PCR test shows that he or she is negative for COVID-19 infection.

6.[Updated 2 Sep 2021] To meet the FET Requirement, Enterprises are encouraged to conduct Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (“ESSS”) for their Workers. Details on how to conduct ESSS are set out in paragraphs 8 to 16 below. The costs for the ART test kits that will be used for ESSS and the training required for Enterprises that wish to conduct ESSS will be borne by the Government until 31 December 2021.

Requirements for Enterprises conducting ESSS

7.ESSS involves Workers using an ART kit and performing a swab on themselves under the supervision of a trained supervisor (“Supervisor”). The swabbing and supervision can be done either at the workplace or virtually using tools such as video conferencing. 

8.[Mandatory] To satisfy the FET Requirement, Enterprises conducting ESSS for their Workers are required to ensure that:

  1. they have appointed an adequate number of Supervisors to ensure that each and every Worker is supervised by a Supervisor whenever they carry out ESSS; 
  2. the Supervisor has satisfied the training requirements set out under paragraph 10 below and properly performs his supervisory role5;
  3. Workers comply with the steps set out in paragraph 13 below and properly perform the swabs on themselves; 
  4. the test results obtained by Workers from ESSS are uploaded on the Swab Registration System (“SRS”) in accordance with the requirements set out under paragraph 14 below; and
  5. Workers that obtain ‘AG+’ or ‘Double Invalid’ test results while conducting ESSS are managed by the Enterprise in accordance with the requirements set out under paragraph 16 below.
Training for Supervisors

9.[Mandatory] Enterprises conducting ESSS shall ensure that their Supervisors have attended the 4-hour virtual Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab that is conducted by the Ministry of Health’s (“MOH”) appointed training provider, HMI Institute of Health Sciences Pte. Ltd. (“HMI”) before they perform their supervisory role. If a Supervisor is above 50-years-old, Enterprises must ensure that he or she is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (i.e. they received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or other vaccines under WHO's Emergency Use Listing (e.g. Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca) and 14 days have passed from the time of the second dose6) before they can perform any supervisory role.

10.Enterprises conducting ESSS are advised to nominate at least two Workers per outlet to undergo training to be a Supervisor. The training provided by HMI will equip Supervisors with the knowledge needed to supervise the conduct ESSS and a certificate of attendance will be issued to those who have completed it. The training provided by HMI is carried out daily from (a) 8am to 12pm, (b) 2pm to 6pm and (c) 6pm to 10pm on a first-come-first-served basis. Enterprises are advised to book their training slot directly with HMI at https://hmi-ihs.com/supervisory-training-in-art-self-swab/ and to do so as soon as possible.

11.Upon successful booking, HMI will send a web link for supervisors 1-2 days before the actual training day, to attend the virtual training session. Please visit HMI’s website at https://hmi-ihs.com (refer to “COVID-19 Training”) for latest details on the ESSS training details. 

Conduct of ESSS by Workers

12.[Mandatory] Enterprises are required to ensure that their Workers comply with the following when carrying out ESSS:

  1. Workers are to be supervised7 by a Supervisor whenever they carry out ESSS;
  2. Workers who obtained an “AG Invalid” test result are to undertake a follow-up ART test;
  3. Workers who obtained an “AG+” or “Double Invalid” test result are to undertake a follow-up PCR test;
  4. Workers are to use new ART test kits whenever they carry out ESSS; and
  5. Workers are to properly dispose of used ART test kits after they have carried out ESSS8
Uploading of Test Results onto SRS

13.[Mandatory] Enterprises are required to upload the test results obtained by their Workers from ESSS onto SRS9 in accordance with the following:

  1. if the test result is “AG+” or “Double Invalid”, Enterprises are to upload the test result of that Worker onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific Worker is completed;
  2. if the test result is “AG-”, Enterprises are to upload the test result of that Worker no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific Worker is completed; and
  3. the requirements set out under paragraphs 4 and 5 of Annex A.

14.More details on the registration for an SRS account can be found in paragraph 21 below or at https://go.gov.sg/tuition-enrichment-fet

Management of Workers with ‘AG+’ or ‘Double Invalid’ Test Result 

15.[Mandatory] If any Worker obtains an ‘AG+’ or ‘Double Invalid’ test result from ESSS, the Enterprise shall comply with all the requirements set out under paragraphs 6 to 7 of Annex A.

Support for Enterprises conducting ESSS

17.[Updated 2 Sep 2021] The Government will be supplying ART test kits to Enterprises until 31 December 2021. To order the ART test kits, Enterprises are required to submit the relevant information using the form at https://go.gov.sg/fet-registration-moe-pss (“Order Form”) (before 29 August 2021). After 29 August 2021, Enterprises are required to email MOE_PSS@moe.gov.sg to request a copy of the Order Form. The ART test kits will be delivered to Enterprises or scheduled for self-collection on first-come-first-served basis. Enterprises shall only use the ART test kits that are supplied by the Government for ESSS and shall not distribute, supply or sell them to any third-party. ART Test Kits must be used with prudence and companies need to ensure that one employee only use one test kit for one cycle of RRT, unless the test result is AG invalid.  

18.Enterprises with multiple outlets are encouraged to submit a separate Order Form for each outlet10. The Point-of-Contact11 (“POC”) stipulated in the Order Form must be the Worker who will be responsible for both the self-collection of the ART test kits and the uploading of test results onto SRS. 

19.Enterprises that will be self-collecting the ART test kits are required to also provide the following information in the Order Form:

  • Name of POC;
  • Full business address (street name, floor & unit number, postal code);
  • POC’s email address (to receive confirmation email);
  • POC’s local mobile number (to receive confirmation SMS);
  • Name of Logistics Coordinator;
  • Logistics Coordinator’s local mobile number;
  • Number of Workers. 

20.After submission of the Order Form, a confirmation email and SMS from a third-party vendor will be sent to your POC with the collection location and date within a week. A further SMS will be sent when the ART kits are ready for collection, and the ART kits must be collected within 3 days upon receipt of this SMS. If the ART kits are not collected within 3 days from stipulated date of collection, it will be returned to the warehouse, and an email will be sent to your POC to rearrange for a new delivery date, at a fee. For subsequent replenishment, the ART Kits will be delivered directly to the company. Information on the replenishment process will be provided at https://go.gov.sg/fet-kits.

21.The information that is submitted on the Order Form will also be used by the relevant Government agencies to help Enterprises set up an SRS account. Once the SRS account has been set up, your POC will receive an email notification informing them about the creation of the SRS account and how to upload test results onto it.

Support from Enterprises

22.The fight against COVID-19 requires the collective effort of everyone in the community. We seek the support and understanding of all Enterprises during this period. We will continue to review and adjust the measures in line with the national posture for the health and well-being of the public and employees.

23.For more details on the FET regime, please visit https://go.gov.sg/tuition-enrichment-fet. You may also contact the Ministry of Education via https://www.moe.gov.sg/contact for further clarifications. 

24.For SRS related enquiries, you may also email SRS Support Email at AskSRS@hpb.gov.sg or the SRS Support hotline at 6876 5848, from Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday: 8.a.m. to 1 p.m. Hotline is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Vaccinate or Regular Test Regime

25.The FET regime is separate from the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” regime announced by the Multi-Ministerial Task Force on 6 August 2021. From 1 October 2021, the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” regime will also be required under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. Under this regime, all unvaccinated12 tutors, instructors or other full-time staff at private tuition and enrichment centres that have students aged 12 years and below will be tested twice a week to protect this vulnerable segment of our population. Details on the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” regime will be released separately at a later date. For the avoidance of doubt, the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” regime does not supersede FET requirements. When implemented, those who are vaccinated will continue to be subject to FET requirements, while those who are unvaccinated will be subject to more stringent “Vaccinate or Regular Test’ requirements

Annexes

Annex A: FET Test Results and the Management of Workers after ESSS

Annex B: Guide to ESSS 

Annex C: FAQs for ESSS in Private Tuition and Enrichment Centres

Footnotes
  1. Enterprises include all private tuition and enrichment centres that hire cleaners (full-time or part-time) and cater to students aged 12 years old and below. Individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past 270 days are exempted from the FET Requirement.

  2. Enterprises are reminded to comply with the other requirements imposed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 and implement the Safe Management Measures (“SMMs”) as set out on the COVID Gobusiness website. They are also reminded to comply with the relevant SMMs that have been set out by Ministry of Education (MOE), Sport Singapore (SportSG), the National Arts Council (NAC) and other relevant agencies.

  3. This includes both full and part time employees who are cleaners, as well as cleaners who are contractors, subcontractors, employees of contractors and subcontractors who work at the workplace of the Enterprise.

  4. Enterprises are required to inspect any physical test result slip, SMS or test kit evidencing the test result of the Worker. It would not be sufficient for Enterprises to rely on oral statements by Workers to fulfill this obligation.

  5. This includes wearing adequate personal protective equipment and maintaining appropriate infection prevention control procedures while conducting supervision.

  6. Enterprises can consider asking Supervisors to verify their vaccination status via TraceTogether.

  7. This can be done in person or virtually.

  8. Used test kits should be double-bagged and tied before disposing them in closed bins (e.g. pedal bins).

  9. Details on how to register for an SRS account can be found at paragraph 21 above.

  10. For Enterprises with multiple outlets under the same UEN, you may submit your request to create multiple SRS company accounts under the same UEN. However, there must be a unique mobile number and email address used for each account. Enterprises without a UEN can indicate their NRIC in the UEN field instead.

  11. Enterprises are also able to nominate an alternate POC per outlet, if they wish to do so.

  12. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or other vaccines under WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (e.g. Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca). An individual who has recovered from COVID-19 infection less than 270 days ago will be exempted from this regime.