Last Updated: 18 May 2022

FAQs: COVID-19 related matters

Updated on 17 May 2022, 6:30pm

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. Please visit the SafeTravel website for more information.

Non-fully vaccinated Long-Term Pass Holders (LTPHs) and Short-Term Visitors (STVs) aged 13 and above are generally not allowed to enter Singapore, with the following exceptions: (i) LTPHs medically ineligible for vaccines, (ii) LTPHs aged 13 to 17 (for arrivals before 1 July 2022 only), and (iii) LTPHs and STVs with other valid entry approvals. They are required to take a Pre-Departure Test (PDT) within 2 days before departure for Singapore, undergo a 7-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN), and take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at the end of their SHN period. LTPHs aged 13 to 17 may enter Singapore before 1 July 2022 without an entry approval, but must complete the full vaccination regime after arriving in Singapore. Other non-fully vaccinated STP holders and eligible accompanying family members (including those who are medically ineligible for vaccines) will, however, need to apply for approval to enter Singapore. Please visit the SafeTravel website for more information on prevailing health protocols and the entry process.

Given the increased availability of vaccines globally for those aged between 13 and 17, LTPHs aged 13 to 17 arriving from 1 July 2022 will be required to be fully vaccinated prior to entry into Singapore. Otherwise, they will need to apply for approval to enter Singapore.

If you require further assistance with the entry process, 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 use a face shield instead of a face mask in school?

Face shields typically have a gap between the shield and the face which result in less effective protection compared to face masks. To ensure effective protection, face shields cannot replace face masks in instances where face masks have been prescribed by MOH as a requirement.

However, MOH also recognises that in some situations, the wearing of face masks may not be practical, and exemption has been given for certain groups of students/children as follows:

  • Children twelve years and below, who may have difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period of time;
  • Older students who have certified health conditions that may result in breathing or other medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period of time. This includes some students with special needs that make it challenging for them to wear face masks.

For these children, face shields could be an option and is not mandatory.

Schools will also allow primary school students and MK children to use face shields for short periods of time if the children have difficulties wearing face masks for long periods.

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

[Updated to reflect MTF's Press Release on 22 Apr 2022]

VDS is not implemented in our schools (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 would be put in place. These include activities held externally where VDS are applicable. Most of these VDS requirements have since been removed from 26 Apr 2022 onwards, following the updated national VDS posture as announced by the MTF on 22 Apr 2022.

For IHLs, in line with national posture, VDS will only apply to events with more than 500 participants and dining in at F&B establishments on IHL campuses.

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

Students are able to participate in their CCA even if they are not fully vaccinated.

However, students participating in CCA held at external venues are subject to external venue’s Safe Management Measures (SMMs) and Vaccination Differentiated SMMs (VDS) requirements, if applicable.

Will there be further resumption of activities in 2022?

From January 2022, MOE has continued to resume more elements of school life in line with the national COVID-19 SMMs.

For schools from 21 Mar 2022, resumed activities include school assemblies, non-residential camps, community-based values-in-action (VIA) programme and Parent-Teacher briefings. National School Games and Singapore Youth Festival (Arts Presentation) will also be taking place for all levels. CCAs and learning journeys held at external venues can also proceed subject to external venue's Safe Management Measures (SMMs) and Vaccination Differentiated SMMs (VDS) requirements.

Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have resumed most aspects of campus life, including in-person lessons and student activities, and larger scale IHL sports events (e.g. POL-ITE games and Inter-Faculty Games).

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 schools 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 secondary schools and JCs/MI, there is less necessity currently, for requiring Full Home-Based Learning for the entire system. Where necessary, MOE will apply it to selected classes, levels or individual schools to stem spread of infection.

What if there is no one to look after my young child when he/she is at home for 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 Home-Based Learning? 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 Home-Based Learning materials, so that their learning continues uninterrupted.

Teachers are familiar with and competent in using various tools to engage and monitor the progress of the students for HBL. They can use the Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) online platform to monitor the students' learning progress and their 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 the 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 computing devices or internet access, schools can loan these devices to students.

My child is studying in a Special Education (SPED) school. How will the school support the learning of my child during the 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. For students who offer the National Curriculum, the Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) platform continues to be accessible to students during this period.

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 are safe platforms?

Teachers currently use a range of video conferencing tools. While Zoom and Google Meet are two of the most commonly used platforms, teachers also use other platforms like Facebook Live and Cisco WebEx. There is no requirement for teachers to restrict themselves to Zoom and Google Meet.

Schools are provided with security protocols and guidelines for video conferencing the respective video conferencing tools (i.e., Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx).

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 - updated
Why should my child be vaccinated? Is Singapore the first country to rollout vaccination for children aged 5 and above?

Children are as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults. While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children, some children can still become very sick and require hospitalisation. Children who get infected with COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a condition where different body parts including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs become inflamed.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help protect children ages five and older from getting COVID-19, and protect them from getting very ill if they do get infected. It can also help to protect vulnerable family members who may be at increased risk of getting very sick if they are infected. Vaccination can also help keep community safe and allow students to participate in a wider range of activities in school.

Some countries such as the USA and Israel have already started vaccinating their children earlier in November 2021, with many more countries which have also done so or had announced plans to do so.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children aged 5 to 11? What are the possible side effects?

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA), a statutory board under the Ministry of Health, and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) have reviewed the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine based on the clinical trials for children aged 5 to 11.

On 10 December 2021, both the HSA and the EC19V authorised the vaccine for children in this age group, as the vaccine is safe and effective for children and that benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine outweigh the risks. This was further supported by the Ministry of Health at the Multi-Ministry Taskforce Press Conference on the same day.

The safety profile of the Pfizer vaccine in the younger population is consistent with the known safety profile in the population aged 12 and above. Common side effects in children who received the vaccine were generally mild to moderate. These resolve on their own within a few days, and include injection site pain, fatigue, headache, injection site redness and swelling, muscle aches and chills. Children in this age group had fewer systemic side effects compared to persons 16-25 years of age.

While there were no cases of anaphylaxis seen in the study of the vaccine, the risk of anaphylaxis or allergy can be expected to be comparable to that observed in adolescents and young adults. While the rare risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis cannot be dismissed, similar to what has been reported in adolescents and young adults, no cases of myocarditis/pericarditis were observed in the vaccine trial among the children aged 5 to 11 years.

You can find out more from the HSA Website: https://www.hsa.gov.sg/announcements/press-release/pfizercomirnaty_children

What are the common side effects that my child may experience after the COVID-19 vaccination? Would my child experience different side effects from adults?

According to MOH, the side effects observed in children are similar to that in the adult population, and your child may experience more side effects after the second dose of vaccination. These side effects may be experienced when the body is responding to the vaccine, and they are usually mild to moderate which should resolve in a few days.

The table below lists some common side effects that have been reported with the vaccine, and how to manage them:

Side Effects How to Manage
Pain, redness, swelling at the injection site Fever medication as needed, according to child’s weight. Those with fever are advised to self-isolate at home until the fever subsides.



Fever, chills
Headache, muscle pain, joint pain
Tiredness Rest
Lymph node swelling at neck or arms Usually gets better by itself in a week or so

Bring your child to see a doctor if:

  • The side effects persist for more than 48 hours or get worse; and
  • Respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of sense of taste and smells develops.

In rare cases, this vaccine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include difficulties in breathing, swelling of face, throat, eyes or lips, fast heartbeat, dizziness and weakness, a bad rash all over the body. If your child experiences a severe allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Please call 995 or seek emergency treatment immediately.

Can I go to any vaccination centres to get my child vaccinated or take the booster shot? [UPDATED]

All individuals who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination will be able to walk in for their primary vaccination series and booster doses at a COVID-19 vaccination centre without the need for an appointment every day of the week (except Public Holidays), before 7pm, or 2pm on eve of Public Holidays.

To ensure a smooth and orderly vaccination process for all, we seek the understanding and cooperation of everyone to keep to the stipulated hours for the walk-in arrangement. Those with prior bookings are also encouraged to release these bookings, if they plan to be vaccinated under this walk-in arrangement.

In addition, from 18 May 2022 onwards, selected polyclinics and Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) would be able to offer paediatric vaccine doses for children aged 5 to 11.

Parent/guardians who wish to vaccinate their child/ward at the selected polyclinics and PHPCs will have to first register their child/ward at child.vaccine.gov.sg. An SMS with a personalised booking link will be sent to the registered mobile number of the parent/guardian within three to five working days to book a vaccination appointment via the National Appointment System.

The full list of VCs, including polyclinics and PHPCs offering paediatric vaccination for children aged 5 to 11, can be found on vaccine.gov.sg.

What should parents/guardians bring or take note of when bringing their child/ward for vaccination?

Children aged 12 and below will need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian during vaccination. This includes children aged 12 receiving their booster dose.

Children aged below 18 years old will require the consent of their parents/guardian to receive the vaccination, and should bring along a signed hard or soft copy of the parental consent form, which can be downloaded at https://go.gov.sg/parcf. On the day of the vaccination, the child should have with them their Student Identification, or if not available, other forms of identification (e.g. Birth Certificate/Passport/SingPass) for verification.

Prior to vaccination, parents should ensure that their child is hydrated, has eaten and avoids strenuous exercise. Children are encouraged to wear short-sleeved or loose clothes for their vaccination appointment.

Will there be any special arrangements for students in SPED schools who wish to receive the vaccination?

We want to assure parents of SPED school students who are aged 5-11 that we will be putting in place the same special arrangements that had been done for the older SPED school students (aged 12 and above) during the earlier MOE vaccination exercise. The booster vaccination exercise in SPED schools via the Mobile Vaccination Teams had taken place from 7 March to 18 March. The MVT teams comprised staff from the Health Promotion Board who are familiar with students in MOE SPED schools and able to support them for the vaccination.

Will my child's vaccination affect his/her school attendance?

If your child has a scheduled vaccination appointment during school day, do present evidence of his/her vaccination appointment to your child's school to account for the absence.

As COVID-19 vaccination is an important strategy in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, schools will make arrangements to help students going for vaccination to catch up with the work they might have missed.

Will school activities be affected for students who receive the vaccination? Can students schedule their vaccination during school/MK hours?

To minimise disruption to school activities, we encourage parents to schedule their child's vaccination as soon as possible, including the weekends. MOE has also informed our schools to accommodate parents who have planned for their children to get vaccinated on school days, as this COVID-19 vaccination is an important national effort in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will there be allowed time off from their MK/schools to take their vaccines? How would this work and be facilitated by MKs/schools?

Students who are getting vaccinated during school hours, as well as those feeling unwell from the side effects of the vaccine, would be given time off and deemed to be on medical leave. To facilitate this, parents/students should provide details of their vaccination appointment.

Will Safe Management Measures (SMMs) in preschools/MKs/schools change after the vaccination exercise is completed?

The COVID-19 vaccine is effective in preventing symptomatic disease for the vast majority of those vaccinated, but it is still possible for vaccinated individuals to get infected as no vaccines are 100 per cent effective.

To continue to keep our preschools, MKs and schools safe, we expect that we would need to retain some SMMs in our schools even after the vaccination exercise is completed, but there would certainly be greater scope for us to calibrate some of these SMMs to allow a wider range of school/student activities, taking into account the prevailing national posture.

Will parents/guardians be allowed to accompany their child to the vaccination centres?

For the 5 to 11 years old vaccination exercise, parental/legal guardian presence is required (except for children participating in the School Facilitated Vaccination Exercise). To avoid congestion and ensure compliance with Safe Management Measures at vaccination centres, only one parent/guardian is allowed to accompany their under-13 child into the vaccination centre.

Parents will be asked to sign a form for a child to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Is this an indemnity form?

The consent form is to obtain the informed consent of the parent/guardian for the child/ward to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, after having reviewed and considered the risks and benefits of the vaccination as outlines in the accompanying vaccination information sheet.

This practice of obtaining informed consent is consistent with what is done for other medical procedures, including childhood vaccinations, such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Diphtheria, and Tetanus.

My child will be turning 12 in a few weeks' time. Would you recommend that I wait till he/she turns 12 and receive the dosage meant for 12 and above, or should I sign up now and opt for the paediatric vaccine which has one-third of the dosage?

We encourage parents to get their medically eligible children vaccinated as soon as possible. Your child should receive the age-appropriate vaccine dose.

Will my child still receive the reduced dosage if he/she turns 12 on the day of the first appointment?

Children who turn 12 on the day of their first appointment will receive the dose for ages 12 and above. Those who received the paediatric dosage on their first appointment will continue to receive the same dosage on their second appointment, even if they have turned 12 between the first and second vaccine doses.

Is my child eligible for the vaccination if he or she has allergies, medical conditions or is taking certain prescription drugs?

According to MOH, if your child has a history of allergy (including anaphylaxis) to medications, food, insect bite or unknown triggers, they can still be safely vaccinated. However, if they have a known allergy to one of the mRNA vaccine's components, they should not receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for now.

Most individuals with common conditions (e.g. asthma, eczema, obesity) can be vaccinated. People with weakened immune systems, either from illness or medication, may still receive the vaccine because it is not a live vaccine, i.e. a vaccine that uses a weakened form of a germ to prompt an immune response. However, people with severely weakened immune system (e.g. recent transplant in the past 3 months) should not receive the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines.

If your child recently received other vaccinations, he/she should wait two weeks before seeking the COVID-19 vaccine.

If your child has a medical condition that is not stable or is getting worse, he/she should postpone seeking the COVID-19 vaccination until his/her medical condition is better controlled. If your child has cancer and is on active chemotherapy, you should consult your child's cancer specialist to discuss if or when your child can be vaccinated.

Parents are always encouraged to speak with their child's doctor/paediatrician if they have any questions or concerns.

Do recovered children need to get vaccinated? If so, when?

Persons who have not completed their vaccination before recovering from a COVID-19 infection, including children, are recommended to receive a single dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 3 months after the date of their diagnosis. There is evidence that a single dose of mRNA would further boost your immunity against COVID-19.

No additional booster dose is recommended at this time.

Can students engage in strenuous activities after their vaccination?

Given the emerging data on the small risk of myocarditis and pericarditis* observed after vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, the Expert Committee on COVID-19 vaccination recommends that all vaccinated persons, in particular adolescents and younger men, should avoid strenuous physical activity for two weeks after their first and second vaccination doses.

In line with the Expert Committee’s recommendation, students should also avoid strenuous physical activity for two weeks after their first and second doses.

Examples (non-exhaustive) of strenuous physical activity to avoid are:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • Competitive sports
  • Ball/racket games

During this time, students should seek medical attention promptly if they develop chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heartbeats.

Students should inform their PE, relevant CCA and other teachers about the date of their vaccination so that they will be exempted from physical activities for two weeks.

While most persons with vaccine-related myocarditis observed locally and internationally have mild symptoms and make an uneventful recovery, it is possible that the condition may be aggravated by factors or strenuous activities that may affect the heart.

*Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory conditions affecting the heart muscles and the outer lining of the heart respectively. Patients often present with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heartbeats.

Will children aged 5-11 be covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for Covid-19 Vaccination (VIFAP)? If not, will MOE/ECDA offer financial assistance for children who do suffer from severe adverse events after taking the vaccine?

All Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and long-term pass holders, including children aged 5 to 11, who have been recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccination under the National Vaccination Programme, and who experience a serious side effect assessed by a doctor to be related to the COVID-19 vaccination received in Singapore will be covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for COVID-19 Vaccination (VIFAP).

What if my child does not take the vaccination?

While vaccination is not mandatory, we encourage all medically eligible individuals aged 5 years and above to take up vaccination when this is made available to them. Being vaccinated can significantly reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection for your child and prevent severe illness, if infected. Furthermore, vaccination will also protect your family and the wider community.

Can my child choose to take the vaccination later?

Students who are not able to get vaccinated during the vaccination exercise may do so later, and if they are medically eligible to do so at that point in time.

While vaccination is not mandatory, we encourage all medically eligible individuals to take full advantage of the capacity and good geographical spread of our VCs, before more VCs are closed down in the coming weeks. The risk of community spread remains and comprehensive coverage of COVID-19 vaccination can help protect individuals as well as the wider community against the virus.

Are the authorities looking into the possibility of rolling out other vaccines, such as Sinovac or Moderna, for children in this age group too?

At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine is authorised for use in ages below 18 years. We will continue to closely monitor the availability of other non-mRNA vaccines that are approved for use in children.

Is there a hotline parents can call for requests or queries on the rescheduling of vaccination appointments?

For requests or queries on the rescheduling of vaccination appointments, parents can call Ministry of Health at 1800 333 9999.

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

Anyone who is unwell, especially if they display respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, cough or sore throat, can 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.

Students aged 16 and below 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. 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 quickly contain any 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 test arising from a diagnosis of an Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) will be covered by the government. In this scenario, the relevant consultation, medication and investigation costs will be covered under the Flu Subsidy Scheme (for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, as well as Work Permit Holders).

Will there be assistance provided to teach parents/guardians on how to conduct an ART swab test?

MOE Kindergartens, primary schools and SPED schools (primary/junior sections) will be engaging parents/guardians in a one-time familiarisation exercise to help them learn how their children can conduct an ART swab at home. Specific arrangements will be shared by schools in due course.

This is to ensure that parents/guardians and children are familiar with the use of ART kits, as these will be used more regularly in the coming months to facilitate the safe return of students to school.

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, in effect from 26 April 2022:

Category Arrangements
Confirmed Case To adhere to MOH's health protocols.
Stay-Home Notice (SHN) Not allowed to return to school / campus until the end of SHN.
What should the student or staff do when the household member is confirmed to be a COVID-19 case / issued Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?

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, or on SHN do not need to alert the school. If the student/staff is well, they are allowed to go to school.

Does my child need to wear a mask/face shield when attending an MOE Kindergarten (MK)?

To protect young children and to reduce the risk of transmission, MOH continues to strongly encourage young children to wear a mask or face shield, especially if they are in a group setting or when interacting with others.

In line with these MOH guidelines, all preschool children should continue to wear masks/face shields in the MOE Kindergartens and KCare. MKs will continue to exercise some flexibility for children who have difficulties wearing a mask/face shield, for example, children with special needs and younger children.

Parents should continue to provide masks/face shields for their children to wear in the MKs and KCare.

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

[Updated to reflect MTF's Press Release on 22 Apr 2022]

In line with the further easing of community measures, the following adjustments will be implemented from 26 Apr 2022:

  • 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.

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.
  • Parents and members of the public attending concerts held in schools involving more than 500 pax will need to be vaccinated or be medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Although HRN will no longer be issued from 26 April 2022 onwards, students are strongly encouraged to hold on to their TraceTogether token or keep the TraceTogether application on their phones, in the event that contact tracing and VDS checks in external venues be needed. For more information on TraceTogether, you may refer to the TokenGoWhere website.

Hygiene

  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and disinfection of the premises to be done daily.
  • Students will continue to practise frequent hand-washing throughout the school day and wipe down of tables and shared equipment after use.

Mask wearing

  • Students and staff should wear masks with good filtration capability such as surgical masks or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness that are made of at least two layers of fabric when indoors.
  • Mask wearing is required indoors as a default. Unmasking indoors is only allowed for Physical Education, sports, singing, wind instrument playing, speech & drama, dancing and specific groups of students in language/literacy lessons.
  • Schools will adhere to guidelines on ventilation for regular air flow exchange and the use of air purifiers in air-conditioned venues.
Why are MOE and ECDA allowing teachers and students to remove their masks for language and literacy lessons, when MOH has not lifted the mandatory mask wearing requirement?

The perception and articulation of speech sounds is an important aspect of early language development. The mask-off arrangement will allow students who require more support in their acquisition and development of languages to benefit from a multisensory pedagogical approach with visual and auditory cues.

In line with the national transition towards an endemic COVID-19 and to better support the learning needs of students, MOE and ECDA will, under a pilot, progressively offer selected groups of teachers and students in schools, preschools and Early Intervention Centres the flexibility to remove their masks during literacy and language lessons.

This is a carefully considered move, taking into consideration the high vaccination coverage among educators and students, and feedback from educators and parents to better support our students' learning needs while mitigating the risk of spread of COVID-19.

Can schools exercise flexibility and decide not to roll-out the unmasking pilot arrangements?

Schools and teachers can exercise flexibility on mask wearing for language and literacy classes according to their students' needs.

Will the teachers and students who are unvaccinated be allowed to unmask? What are the measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission among students/staff? Will unvaccinated teachers and students be required to produce a valid Antigen Rapid Test (ART)-negative result before they can unmask?

There will not be additional ART testing requirements targeted at those who are unvaccinated, as the benefits of doing so would be very marginal compared with the costs for doing so. We will not treat unvaccinated students differently for this mask-off arrangement.

Will MOE/ECDA consider extending this mask off pilot arrangement to other education institutions e.g. tuition and enrichment centres, providers of early intervention services?

There are currently no plans to extend the mask-off pilot arrangement to tuition/enrichment providers.

What are the mitigating safe management measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19? Are these measures adequate in protecting our children?

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, teachers and students must continue adhering to appropriate safe management measures and practise good personal hygiene habits and keep common areas clean by wiping down surfaces where necessary. Lessons should be conducted in well-ventilated venues, such as non-air-conditioned classrooms with fans switched on and windows opened, where possible. Teachers are also encouraged to wear a face shield, if practicable.

Can all Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and external activities continue? [UPDATED]

To enrich the learning experiences and better support the long-term holistic development and well-being of our students, MOE has gradually resumed most school activities, including CCAs, 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, learning journeys and community-based VIA can proceed, subject to external venue's SMMs and Vaccination Differentiated SMMs (VDS) requirements, where applicable.

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.

How can MOE confirm that there will not be a cluster in schools with confirmed case(s)?

MOE will closely monitor the students and staff who were in contact with the confirmed case(s). The affected schools will also be cleaned and disinfected as required in line with NEA's guidelines.

These measures have proven to be effective in limiting the transmission of virus in our schools. Students and staff who are unwell know that they should not be going to school. Our teachers also carefully monitor themselves and their students, and any staff or student showing symptoms will be immediately isolated and sent to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Our schools and teachers will continue to implement the necessary safe management and precautionary measures, to reduce risks as much as possible.

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? [UPDATED]

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 not reduce class sizes for better safe distancing? How about having morning and afternoon sessions?

We had considered reducing class sizes and having morning and afternoon sessions to allow for better safe distancing. However, this is disruptive. Students will have different teachers and less time with the subject teachers since we would have to reduce periods to fit two sessions.

In addition, these measures may not be critical to manage risks in the school context at this juncture, as we have many other safe management measures in place. These include having students stick strictly to their classes, minimising contact between students in class, and emphasising good hygiene and proper mask-wearing in common areas. We will also maintain safe distancing through queue markers and alternate seating in canteens, plus stagger arrival and dismissal times to ease congestion.

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/SHN.

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 the co-curricular records of primary school and pre-university students, as well as the LEAPS 2.0 attainment for secondary school students.

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 – 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 all students for Representation and Accomplishment as long as they have been selected to represent their school this year for any competition, performance or event (e.g. National School Games, Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation etc.). This is regardless of the completion status and outcome of their involvement in these activities.

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. For example, for Uniformed Groups, badgework and promotion requirements will be adjusted to allow students to pursue their rank promotions and badges through online learning modules.

Under the Participation domain, students' CCA attendance will be pro-rated based on the total number of CCA sessions that have been conducted by the school. Students who were absent with valid reasons due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 will not be penalised.

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

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.

Benchmarking is removed this year for the primary level SYF AP, and the event is postponed to end-June to August 2022, to mitigate the impact of the above on the level of preparedness. All participating schools will continue to receive feedback from the panel of adjudicators. Schools will be able to recognise students' participation through students' CCA record.

Stay-Home Notice (SHN)
What is Stay Home Notice (SHN)?

The Stay-Home Notice (SHN) is a legal notice issued under the Infectious Diseases Act that requires travellers to remain in their place of residence or SHN Dedicated Facility (SDF) for a stipulated period. In general, travellers under SHN are required to take a mandatory COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction test (“PCR Test”) towards the end of their SHN. Travellers can check their required SHN duration and required COVID-19 tests on the individual SafeTravel Lanes pages. For more information on the prevailing measures, please refer to ICA's website.

How are schools supporting students on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) with their studies?

Schools will plan and implement a HBL programme that best suits the lessons and the students.

For example, schools may inform their students about specific pieces of homework or readings from their textbooks. Schools may also ask students to go through online materials in the Singapore Student Learning Space or the Learning Management Systems. Teachers will also be able to monitor the students' learning progress through these systems and submission of assignments.

What will happen if a school student /staff does not comply with the Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?

It is important that all persons issued with SHN comply strictly with its requirements, in order to limit the risk from potential imported cases and to safeguard our community.

Students found to have breached their SHN will be subject to disciplinary actions from their schools and institutions.

In addition to school sanctions, they may also be prosecuted under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act. Permanent Residents (PRs), Dependent Pass (DP) or Student Pass (STP) holders may also have Re-Entry Permits, DP or STP revoked or shortened.

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

[Updated to reflect MTF's Press Release on 22 Apr 2022]

In line with the further easing of community measures, the following adjustments will be implemented in the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) from 26 Apr 2022:

  • No group size and safe distancing requirements;
  • Mask-wearing will be required indoors as a default. Unmasking indoors is only allowed for select activities (e.g. consumption of food and beverages, sports, live performances);
  • In line with national posture, Vaccination Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) will only apply to events with more than 500 participants, and dining in at F&B establishments on IHL campuses; and
  • TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-ins in IHLs are no longer required.

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 and disinfection of the premises.

Mask Wearing

  • All students, staff, vendors and visitors are required to wear masks whenever they are indoors. Unmasking indoors is only allowed for select activities (e.g. consumption of food and beverages, sports, live performances).
  • The use of face shields instead of masks is allowed for the following groups or in the following settings:
    • Persons who have health conditions that may result in breathing or medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period of time; and
    • Persons who are speaking to a group in a classroom or lecture-style setting, where they largely remain at the spot where they are speaking, and are able to maintain a safe distance from other persons. This would include teachers and lecturers in schools and IHLs respectively, when they are in their classrooms and lecture halls.

Dining in at F&B establishments on IHL campuses

  • Vaccinated students can dine in with no limits on group size.
  • Unvaccinated students are required to test negative under a weekly self-administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) in order to dine in.
  • Unvaccinated staff and visitors will not be allowed to dine in at F&B establishments on IHL campuses.
Will IHL students still be able to participate in internships/work attachments? [UPDATED]

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 may resume in line with prevailing national guidelines on event sizes, group sizes, and Vaccination Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS).

Unvaccinated students in IHLs will need to undertake a regular weekly self-administered ART regime, in order to participate in higher-risk activities such as indoor mask-off activities.

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 all national SMMs, including guidelines for higher-risk classes and activities on campus such as arts and culture classes, performances and sports and physical exercise activities.

PEIs are strongly encouraged to take reference from the plans and safe management measures 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

Please refer to MOE's Advisory on Safe Management Measures for Private Tuition and Enrichment [last updated on 22 Apr 2022]

What are the safe management measures that should be implemented for tuition and enrichment centres that conduct on-site instruction?

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

[With effect from 26 April 2022] All centres conducting on-site instruction must observe the following:

  1. For indoor classes, masks must be worn as a default at all times, except for persons allowed to use face shields instead of masks (e.g., persons with health conditions resulting in breathing/medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period). Instructors are expected to wear a surgical mask or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness at all times.
  2. For outdoor classes (i.e., held in open spaces), individuals may choose to wear masks for personal protection and to protect others, especially in crowded areas.

Some types of classes may have additional SMMs:

  1. For all sport or physical activity classes, as well as outdoor dance classes, please refer to the advisory issued by Sport Singapore.
  2. For indoor dance classes, singing, the playing of instruments that require the intentional expulsion of air (e.g., wind/brass instruments), voice training, and speech and drama classes, please refer to the advisory issued by the National Arts Council.

Centres must also abide by other sector-specific SMMs available on the GoBusiness website, prevailing circulars issued by the Government, and the latest guidance on improving ventilation and indoor air quality in buildings on the NEA website.

What are the safe management measures that should be implemented for in-person lessons operating out of private residences?

[With effect from 26 April 2022] Individuals who visit private residences to provide tuition and enrichment are advised to only visit other residences if they are fully vaccinated, so as to protect those who are unvaccinated from exposure to the virus.

In addition, home ventilation should be improved by opening doors and windows. Fans can be used to promote air circulation when needed.

Will tuition and enrichment teachers be allowed to remove their masks during language/ literacy lessons?

Tuition and enrichment teachers are expected to wear surgical masks or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness at all times while indoors.

Are private schools, including tuition and enrichment centres, allowed to hold year-end concerts or performances on their premises?

Tuition and enrichment centres may hold live performances (e.g. music concerts or drama performance), subject to adherence to safe management measures as outlined in the advisory issued by the National Arts Council. MOE's approval is not required for performances.

Will the TraceTogether-only SafeEntry system and the SafeEntry Gateway Device (SEGW) be implemented for tuition, enrichment centres and SSG-funded training providers?

Tuition and enrichment centres will no longer need to implement SafeEntry from 26 April 2022.

More information on SafeEntry is available at https://www.safeentry.gov.sg.

Will private tutors providing in-person classes operating out of private residences be required to implement the TraceTogether-only SafeEntry system?

As with tuition and enrichment centres (see this FAQ), private tutors providing in-person classes operating out of private residences will no longer need to implement TraceTogether-only SafeEntry from 26 April 2022.

Can private tuition/enrichment classes and training sessions provide food and drinks to students?

[With effect from 26 April 2022] Food and drinks may be provided to students, regardless of vaccination status. There is no need to designate a dining venue within the centre premises. Individuals should otherwise keep their masks on at all times for indoor classes.

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, there is no class/group size limit for CET classes for non-SSG funded/supported CET programmes. Safe distancing between individuals or between groups is also no longer required.

Further details on these requirements can be found at SSG CIRCULAR.