Last Updated: 15 June 2021

FAQs: COVID-19 related matters

Updated on 15 Jun 2021, 1:30pm

Back to School Arrangements - UPDATED
What are the back-to-school arrangements for my child after June holidays? [NEW]

At the start of Term 3 on 28 June 2021, primary and secondary school, junior colleges (JCs) and Millennia Institute (MI) students will return to school according to the following arrangements:

For primary and secondary schools:

Levels Arrangements for Term 3 Week 1 Arrangements for Term 3 Week 2
Primary 1 to 3 Full Home-Based Learning All levels of students will return to school from Tuesday, 6 July 2021 onwards (Monday, 5 July 2021 is Youth Day, a school holiday)
Primary 4 to 6 Return to school for face-to-face lessons
Secondary 1 to 2
  • Home-Based Learning on Monday, 28 June to Wednesday, 30 June
  • Return to school for face-to-face lessons on Thursday, 1 July to Friday, 2 July
Secondary 3 to 5 Return to school for face-to-face lessons

For JCs and MI:

  • All JC/MI students to return to school from Monday, 28 June
What are the back-to-school arrangements for students in Special Education (SPED) schools after June holidays? [NEW]

For Special Education school students, we will stagger their return to school from 28 June 2021 and allow all students to be back in school from 6 July 2021.

What are the arrangements for Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert)? [NEW]

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

Students will continue to return for essential in-person sessions such as labs and practicals. Similarly, other classes or consultations that were previously conducted online can now resume on campus with no more than 50 persons per class. All large-scale classes and lectures will continue to be held online.

Student activities involving 50 persons or less will be allowed to resume. However, large scale events which involve more than 50 persons will continue to be postponed or suspended until further notice.

Why is the treatment for IHL students different from the staggered approaches for the general education levels? [NEW]

The nature of the IHLs' curricula often involves more applied and practical components of learning. Therefore, the IHLs will manage their on-campus student presence by prioritising learning activities that require access to campus facilities, such as practical, lab and studio sessions, including capstone and final-year projects.

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? [NEW]

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 apply for entry into Singapore?

Student's Pass (STP) holders and eligible accompanying family members may apply for approval to enter Singapore via the Safe Travel Office (STO) website. Please click here for the requirements and process. You may refer to the Guide to Applying for Entry Approval to help you through the application process, call the Safe Travel Enquiries Helpline at +65 6812 5555 (operating from 8.30am – 12.00am daily), or write to STO using the enquiry form if you need further assistance.

Can my child use a face shield instead of a face mask in school?

COVID-19 is spread predominantly through droplets. The design of face shields typically leaves a gap between the face shield and the face which droplets can pass through, whereas masks that are worn closely and completely over the nose and mouth do not have such gaps. Hence, MOH had announced that from 2 June, masks will now be required as the default when we are outside our home.

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.

Home-Based Learning - UPDATED
Why are schools not continuing with Full Home-Based Learning (HBL) for all levels after June school holidays? [UPDATED]

As Singapore moves into Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) and with the gradual easing of community safe management measures (SMMs), the Ministry of Education (MOE) will progressively bring students back to school after the June school holidays.

Our schools will continue to adhere to the SMMs to keep students and staff safe.

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

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? [UPDATED]

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)? [UPDATED]

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? [UPDATED]

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? [UPDATED]

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
Would parental consent be required for students below the age of 18? Should students bring along any documentary proof of parental consent to the vaccination site for verification? [NEW]

Yes. Under the national vaccination programme, children/wards below the age of 18 will require the consent of their parents/guardians to book a vaccination appointment.

As parental consent for students who are below the age of 18 and from educational institutions covered under MOE's student vaccination exercise* has been sought during their appointment booking process, students do not need to bring additional documentary proof of parental consent to the vaccination site. Students should however bring along their Student ID, or if not available, other form of identification (e.g. NRIC/Passport) during the vaccination for verification purposes. Parents are also advised to be contactable during the expected appointment time of their child at the vaccination centre, should there be a need for the vaccination centre staff to call them to verify any information.

For parents/guardians who book a vaccination appointment for their child/ward below the age of 18 outside of MOE's student vaccination exercise, they should ensure that their child/ward bring along the documentary proof of consent to the vaccination site for verification.

*Students from our national schools, Madrasahs, Privately-Funded schools, Polytechnics, ITE, Special Education (SPED) schools, Arts Institutions and Autonomous Universities.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective for children aged 12 and above?

The Health Sciences Authority has assessed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine meets safety and efficacy standards for children aged 12 and above. Based on clinical trials for children aged 12 to 15 years old, the vaccine demonstrated a high vaccine efficacy consistent with the trials conducted for the adult population (those aged 16 and above).

You may refer to more information on MOH website here.

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.

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 other vaccines or 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.

What if my child does not take the vaccination?

While vaccination is not mandatory, we encourage all medically eligible individuals aged 12 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.

Is it true that children born before 8 June 2009 are eligible for vaccination and can be part of the ongoing exercise? Can this extension be granted to all children turning 12 this year?

P6 students born before 8 June 2009 will be considered eligible for the vaccination and be part of the ongoing exercise, which is currently extended to those who are 12 and above by their date of birth.

Students born on 8 June 2009 or later who have not yet been invited under the MOE vaccination exercise for students can be vaccinated at a later date, as they turn 12, with specific arrangements to be provided at a later date.

Which vaccination centres are offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines?

Each vaccination centre will only stock and administer one type of vaccine. You may refer to the MOH website to check which COVID-19 vaccine is being offered at the vaccination centre.

As the vaccination capacity of each vaccination centre is not the same, the waiting time for vaccination will differ between vaccination centres. Do check for the availability of appointment slots in other centres if you are unable to secure your desired vaccination appointment dates at the nearest centre.

How do I ensure that I have selected the correct vaccination centre for my child/myself?

The National Appointment System will only show vaccination centres carrying the appropriate vaccine for individuals based on their age as declared on the system at point of booking. Based on particulars declared by registrants, the system will direct the individual to book at the vaccination centres carrying vaccines that they are eligible for based on their declared age profile.

SMSes sent to eligible students (if they are aged 18 years and above) or their parents/guardians (if their child is below 18 years old) will include a booking link for the vaccination appointment that is unique to the student.

Upon clicking on the booking link, students will be prompted to verify their identity by entering their NRIC/FIN number. As for parents/guardians who had made a booking on behalf of their child/ward, they are reminded to enter their child's/ward's details accurately when booking on their behalf.

Why are Autonomous University (AU) graduates not included in the current student vaccination exercise?

Currently, we are prioritising AU students who will be on campus in the new academic year to minimise risk of transmission on campus. Recent university graduates may register for vaccinations as part of the national vaccination exercise, when it is open to the general public for their age bands and if they are medically eligible to do so at that point in time.

Why are some AU final year students included in the current student vaccination exercise?

As AUs have different academic terms, some AUs are still in session with some final-year students on campus. To minimise the risk of transmission on campus, these students who have not graduated are included in the current student vaccination exercise.

Why are students from schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) being prioritised for vaccination, especially when children affected by COVID-19 usually recover with no complications? Why is there a need to take the vaccines?

The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) are prioritising the vaccination of students as part of ongoing national efforts to keep our education institutions and the wider community safe.

Even though there are fewer children who have been ill with COVID-19 as compared to adults, the vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19, and help to reduce the severity of the disease even for those small number of cases where the vaccinated individual ended up being infected.

In addition, getting your child vaccinated helps to protect those around your child from being infected, including family members, especially more vulnerable persons like elderly relatives or persons with weakened immune systems.

Having the vaccine may also give parents and children peace of mind to return to more typical activities in school.

Is the vaccination exercise for students part of the national vaccination programme?

The vaccination exercise for students from schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) is part of the national vaccination programme, and will help contribute to efforts to keep our education institutions and the wider community safe.

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

To facilitate access for students in SPED schools who may find it challenging to visit a vaccination site in-person, MOE and MOH will also deploy mobile vaccination teams to carry out vaccinations for all SPED students aged 12 and above. The respective SPED schools will share the registration instructions and guidelines with parents and students.

When will the vaccination commence for students? How long will the vaccination exercise last for? Can my child choose to take the vaccination later on?

The vaccination exercise for students will commence with invitations for vaccination appointments to be progressively sent out from 1 June 2021.

Students who are not able to get vaccinated during the duration of the vaccination exercise may do so later when the vaccination is open to the general public for their age bands, 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 it up when offered to them. 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.

Can exceptions be made for students who have yet to turn 12 to receive their vaccinations before their birthdays?

As the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has only been authorised for use in individuals aged 12 and above, students who have yet to turn 12 during the duration of the vaccination exercise will not be medically eligible to receive the vaccination. Parents can register their interest for their child to receive the vaccination once their child turns 12.

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

To minimise disruption to school activities, we encourage students to:

  • Schedule their vaccination early as soon as possible;
  • Consider the timing for both their first and second doses when scheduling their vaccinations; and
  • Sign up for slots during weekends, if they are able to.
Will parents/guardians/suitable adults be allowed to accompany their child to the vaccination centres?

Parents/guardians/suitable adults are to accompany their child to the vaccination centre if they are below 13 years old. While parents/guardians/suitable adults are not required to accompany older children who are 13 and above to the vaccination centre, should they wish to do so, they will be ushered to a family waiting area outside the vaccination room/centre, to avoid congestion and ensure compliance to Safe Management Measures at the vaccination centres.

Will students be able to choose which vaccine they would like to receive?

Based on the Health Sciences Authority's (HSA) approval of the medical suitability of the vaccines, individuals below the age of 18 will only be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, while individuals aged 18 and above will be offered a choice between the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Both vaccines have been assessed by HSA to meet the safety and efficacy standards. We encourage students to make a vaccination appointment as early as possible upon receiving their SMS notification.

What is the interval between the first and second vaccination shots?

MOH's recommended interval is 6-8 weeks between the first and second vaccination shots.

Must ITE students go to the four dedicated vaccination centres or can they go to other vaccination centres (e.g. those nearer to their residence)? Can parents accompany their child for the vaccination?

ITE students are strongly encouraged to take their vaccination at the vaccination centres at their ITE campus. ITE staff will be present onsite in the ITE vaccination centres to support students through the vaccination process. If parents would like to accompany their child, they will be required to wait in a holding room while their child is taking the vaccine. This is similar to what is being done currently in community vaccination centres. This is to minimise congestion and ensure safe distancing at the vaccination centre.

What should students or their parents do if they have yet to receive the SMS for the vaccination?

SMSes will be sent progressively to eligible students (if they are aged 18 and above) or their parents (if their child is below 18 years old). Parents of students in the O, N and A levels (or equivalent) cohorts who have yet to receive the SMS by 3 June should contact your child/ward's school for assistance. Parents of students in other cohorts will progressively receive the SMSes. Schools will also be reaching out to parents of students in mainstream primary and secondary schools separately with additional details on their vaccinations.

In general, students who are in schools and the IHLs should receive their SMSes by the end of the second week of June.

For Autonomous University, polytechnic and Arts Institution students, those aged 18 and above will receive SMS invitations directly. For students below 18 years of age, SMSes will be sent to their parents or guardians. Students who have yet to receive a SMS by the dates stipulated by their institutions should inform their designated point-of-contacts in their institutions quickly for assistance.

For ITE students, ITE will make arrangements directly for them to have their vaccination on campus.

If students are unable to get vaccinated during the duration of the vaccination exercise (e.g. due to being unwell or overseas), will they be able to get vaccinated later?

Students who are unable to get vaccinated during the duration of the MOE vaccination exercise may do so later when vaccination is open to the general public for their age bands and if they are medically eligible to do so at that point in time.

What happens if students miss their vaccination appointment? Will they be allowed to make another appointment?

Students who miss their first vaccination appointment during the duration of MOE's vaccination exercise will be able to reschedule later when the vaccination is open to the public for their age bands, if they are medically eligible to do so then.

If students miss their second vaccination appointment, they should contact MOH at 1800 333 9999 for further assistance.

What happens if students' vaccination appointment clashes with their upcoming oral national examinations?

MOE would like to assure parents and students that if students' upcoming oral national examination schedules clash with their appointment date for the first or second dose of their vaccination, changes to their oral examination dates within the oral examination window can be accommodated where possible, or else new appointment dates for the vaccination can also be scheduled.

Special Consideration may be applicable if rescheduling is not possible. Parents/students should provide evidence of the vaccination appointment to facilitate this.

Is there a hotline parents can call for their queries?

For requests or queries on the rescheduling of vaccination appointments, parents can call Ministry of Health at 1800 333 9999. For general questions, they can contact their schools directly.

Why is MOE commencing vaccination for personnel in the education sector?

The vaccination of personnel in the education sector complements existing efforts in keeping education institutions safe, as children and the majority of our students are not yet medically eligible for vaccination*.

Vaccination is critical to protect those working in education institutions and their loved ones against COVID-19. Vaccination also protects those in our community who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. This collective protection will become more effective as more people are vaccinated and is a key enabler allowing us to return to normalcy. While COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory, we will strongly encourage all medically- eligible individuals working in education institutions to step forward and be vaccinated. This move will keep them safe, and in turn protect their families as well as younger students who cannot yet be vaccinated.

For more information on Singapore's COVID-19 vaccination programme, please refer to MOH's website.

* Currently, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been authorised for use in Singapore in individuals aged 18 years and above, and aged 12 years and above respectively.

How would schools ensure the continuity of school activities, including teaching and learning, with the ongoing vaccination exercise for staff?

Schools will plan and manage the vaccination exercise such that it will minimise disruption to school operations. Schools will encourage staff to:

  • Schedule their vaccination early and, where possible, during the March school holidays, but with some reasonable staggering;
  • Consider the timing for both first and second doses when scheduling for vaccinations, and avoid the period of critical school activities;
  • Sign up for slots during weekends, if they are able to.
Which groups of personnel in the education sector have been identified to receive the vaccination? Why have they been considered for vaccination?

The vaccination exercise complements our existing efforts in keeping educational institutions safe, as children and the majority of our students are not yet medically eligible for vaccination*.

The vaccination exercise will cover all staff in the following educational institutions:

  • Preschools licensed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), MOE Kindergartens and Foreign System Kindergartens registered by MOE
  • Early Intervention centres/programmes (funded by or registered** with ECDA) for children with developmental needs, aged 6 and under
  • Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute
  • Special Education schools
  • Institute of Technical Education
  • Polytechnics
  • Private Schools registered with MOE with full-time students below 18 years old
  • Private Education Institutions (including international schools) with full-time students below 18 years old
  • Madrasahs

The vaccination exercise will also include other individuals who work in these institutions and come into regular contact with students, such as administrative staff, adjunct staff, school-based and community-based student care centre staff, special student care centre staff, and canteen/bookshop vendors, Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) instructors/coaches and bus drivers/attendants.

* Currently, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been authorised for use in Singapore in individuals aged 18 years and above, and aged 16 years and above respectively.

** A list of EI programmes registered with ECDA can be found in the Baby Bonus Approved Institution website

Arts and Culture - UPDATED
What are the current guidelines for higher risk arts and culture activities in schools (i.e. singing, voice training, speech and drama, and wind/brass instruments)? [UPDATED]

Higher risk arts and culture activities (i.e. singing, voice training, speech and drama, wind/brass instrument playing) will remain suspended in schools until further notice.

TraceTogether-only SafeEntry
Will I be denied entry to IHLs/PEIs if I do not have the TraceTogether (TT) App, or misplace or forget to bring my TT Token?

All students, staff and visitors are expected to use the TT App or Token to check in. Individuals will only be granted entry with IDs as a last resort.

What if my child lost or misplaced his/her TT Token?

Those who have lost or misplaced their Tokens can get replacements at any of the Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website. The first replacement for lost Tokens will be free.

What should I do if my child missed the deadline to collect the TraceTogether (TT) Tokens from schools?

Students may still collect their Tokens at any of the Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website if they missed the deadline to request for it via their respective schools. Parents may also collect the Token on their child’s behalf.

How does the TraceTogether (TT) App and/or Token collect and store my child's data?

For more information on the collection and storage of TraceTogether data, please refer to the TokenGoWhere website.

How are schools implementing TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE)? When would this implementation take place? Aren't schools already safe with all the safe management measures?

[Updated to reflect MOE's Press Release on 4 May 2021]

Schools are generally safe with all the existing safe management measures in place. With the nationwide implementation of TT-only SE from 17 May 2021, students should have their TT Token or App with them in school to facilitate accurate contact tracing.

Students will not be denied entry to school should they misplace or forget to bring the Token to school. However, if they are involved in external activities at venues that require TT-only SE, they must have their TT Token/App with them to ensure they are able to participate in these activities.

For students who had missed the deadline to request for a Token via their respective schools, they may still collect it at any of the Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website. Parents may also collect the Token on their child’s behalf.

Should my child bring the TraceTogether (TT) Token to school? Can my child use the TT App instead of using the Token?

While the TT App serves the same function as the TT Token and students can use the TT App, they may not have access to their handphones all the time during classes or outdoor activities. As such, students are encouraged to bring the TT Token to school for ease of contact tracing.

For students who had missed the deadline to request for a Token via their respective schools, they may still collect their Tokens at any of Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website. Parents may also collect the Token on their child's behalf.

Will my child be denied entry to schools if he/she does not have the TraceTogether (TT) App, or misplaces or forgets to bring his/her TT Token?

Students will not be denied entry to schools in such a situation. However, they are expected to have their TT App/Token with them daily to facilitate contact tracing.

Can my child with special educational needs (SEN) be excused from wearing or carrying the TraceTogether (TT) Token?

Parents of students with SEN are encouraged to obtain and use the TT Token for their child for school activities that may require it and for their private use.

Parents of students who do not routinely carry a TT Token should take note that some out-of-school activities (e.g. external CCAs, Learning Journeys) could involve entry to public/commercial buildings which require the TraceTogether App or Token when TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is implemented from 17 May 2021. For such activities, parents may wish to work out an arrangement with their child's school to facilitate the use of the child's TT Token for these activities.

For students who had missed the deadline to request for a Token via their respective schools, they may still collect their Token at any of the Community Centres/Clubs listed on the TokenGoWhere website. Parents may also collect the Token on their child's behalf.

How are IHLs implementing the TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE)? When would this implementation take place? Aren't IHLs already safe with all the safe management measures?

[Updated to reflect MOE's Press Release on 4 May 2021]

IHLs have implemented all the necessary safe management measures, including the use of TraceTogether (TT).

As part of the nationwide implementation, IHLs are also required to implement TT-only SE from 17 May 2021. This will give us greater assurance as we progressively resume more activities and to ease certain restrictions, both in and out of campuses.

Students and staff who are not onboard the TT Programme may wish to download the TT App on their smartphones, or collect a TT Token at any of the Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website.

Will Private Education Institutions (PEIs) be required to implement TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE)?

PEIs are required to implement TT-only SE from 17 May 2021.

Students and staff who are not onboard the TT Programme may wish to download the TT App on their smartphones, or collect a TT Token at any of the Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website.

What happens if the TraceTogether (TT) Token is damaged or misplaced? Will there be any charges incurred for replacements?

To avoid damaging the Token, the Token should not be placed in water, near fire sources or dropped from height. Individuals should also not attempt to tamper with the device, as doing so is a violation of the Computer Misuse Act.

To avoid losing the Token, you may personalise it with a lanyard, accessory, add a name sticker label or write your name on the Token. However, please do not write over, cover or remove the QR code on the Token.

Damaged or faulty TT Tokens can be replaced for free at any Community Centre/Club (CCs), or at the Token replacement booths set up in selected malls. Those who have misplaced their Tokens can get replacements at the active collection venues listed on the TokenGoWhere website. The first replacement of lost Tokens will be free.

For more assistance, you may call the hotline (6973 6511) or write to support@tracetogether.gov.sg.

What if the TraceTogether (TT) Token runs out of battery?

The TT Token's battery is expected to last six months and is non-rechargeable.

TT Token users can check if their Token is working by looking out for a green light that blinks about once every minute. If the Token is blinking red, or if there is no light at all, users should replace their Token at any Community Club/Centre (CC), or at Token replacement booths set up at selected malls. More information can be found on the TokenGoWhere website.

For more assistance, please call the service hotline (6973 6511) or email support@tracetogether.gov.sg.

Can TraceTogether (TT) be used to track the movements of a person within and outside the schools/IHLs?

Similar to the TT App, the TT Token does not capture geo-location data and hence, cannot track movements. As the TT token does not have internet or cellular connectivity, the data on the Token cannot be accessed remotely.

Designed to interoperate with the TT App, the Token works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals with other TraceTogether devices in close proximity. Records of proximity data of close contacts are encrypted and stored locally in the Token for no more than 25 days. The Token will only be collected by the relevant authorities (such as MOH) for data extraction to safeguard public health, and only if a user is confirmed to be a COVID-19 case. Our schools and IHLs will not have access to the data.

All public sector data protection rules will apply to the data held by MOH, including abiding by recommendations of the Public Sector Data Security Review Committee.

Mitigating measures for LEAPS 2.0 for 2020
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 for any competition, performance or event (e.g. National School Games, Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation etc.) this year, 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 projects, including additional opportunities that had arisen due to COVID-19, such as VIA@home.

For Values in Action (VIA) projects that have been cancelled in 2020, will students still be recognised if they have already signed up for these activities?

Students will be recognised for their time spent on planning, discussing, refining as well as reflecting on their VIA project, even if the VIA activity was suspended eventually.

Are the adjustments to LEAPS 2.0 only in effect this year?

Yes, the adjustments are currently applicable only for 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. MOE is monitoring the situation closely and will make adjustments when necessary.

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, should see a doctor.

Staff and students (13 years and above), if diagnosed by the doctor to have Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) and require COVID-19 testing, will be referred by the doctor to a polyclinic, designated GP clinic participating in the Swab-and-Send-Home (SASH) initiative or Regional Screening Centre set up by the Health Promotion Board to undergo a test. This also applies to personnel working in schools but who are not MOE-hires, such as SCC/KCare staff, coaches and instructors, canteen and bookshop operators. A list of GP clinics participating in the SASH initiative can be found at the following website: http://www.phpc.gov.sg.

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.

For students aged 12 and below, they will be assessed by the doctor on whether a test is required, as younger children may require different clinical considerations from older children. They may be issued a 5-day MC in the first instance, and be required to stay home. If they are well at the end of the MC period, they can return to school. If they are still displaying respiratory symptoms at the end of their MC period, they should return to the same doctor for follow-up assessment, and the doctor may refer them to KKH or NUH for COVID-19 testing.

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).

Why not test all staff like those in pre-schools?

The need for surveillance testing is assessed based on different risk factors, including the group's vulnerability and risk of exposure to COVID-19, and the risk of spread within the particular setting. Within pre-schools/schools/education institutions, other factors are taken into account, including the level of close interaction between staff and students. As pre-school staff have much closer physical interactions with their students, as compared to staff of other schools, all pre-school staff were tested in a one-time sweep before the pre-schools resumed full services.

To reduce risk of transmission in schools/education institutions, staff diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) by a doctor will be prioritised for testing as part of the overall strategy to keep schools/education institutions safe.

Precautionary measures in schools - UPDATED
How will MOE centre-based lessons be conducted? [UPDATED]

All centre-based lessons# will resume in-person learning for graduating students from Term 3 Week 1 while the remaining levels will continue with Home-Based Learning for the first week. All students will return for face-to-face lessons from Term 3 Week 2. This includes lessons for Non-Tamil Indian Language as part of In-School Parallel Programmes and Weekend Centres.

MOE will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the arrangements, where necessary.

#: MOE Centres include MOE Language Centres, Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre, Tamil Language Centres, Higher Chinese Language Centres, Higher Malay Language Centres, Chinese Language 'B' Syllabus Centres, Malay (Special Programme) Zonal Centres, Chinese (Special Programme) Zonal Centres, O-Level Music Centres, Music Elective Programme (Mep) Centres, Art Elective Programme (Aep) Centre

What measures will school-based Student Care Centres (SCC) and Kindergarten Care (KCare) put in place to reduce intermingling of students?

Schools will work with the SCC operators to put in place safe management measures to reduce the intermingling of students from different levels. Students will be in fixed groups based on their class and level and allocated designated rooms, preferably on different levels, to minimise contact. There will be no intermingling between groups and no group work. The same SCC staff will also be deployed to look after each group of students.

The same principle to avoid inter-mingling will apply to KCare. Where possible, we will:

  • Keep children and staff of the K1 and K2 levels segregated;
  • Keep children segregated by class;
  • Ensure children of K1 and K2 levels do not mix by staggering snack times;
  • Have fixed deployment of KCare staff to each class/level.
With the new variant of COVID-19 surfacing in Singapore, how will schools ensure the safety of my child?

Our schools continue to be safe with the current set of safe management measures that have been implemented.

MOE continues to monitor the situation closely and we are guided by MOH guidelines.

On the part of parents, please continue to monitor your child’s health, and seek medical attention immediately, if unwell. Please ensure that he/she observes good personal hygiene, practises safe distancing and wears his/her mask when leaving home. Students should stay at home if their household members exhibit flu-like symptoms.

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.

What are the safe management measures put in place in schools? [UPDATED]

Safe management measures in schools will continue to include the following:

Screening

  • Twice-daily temperature-taking and visual screening for all students and staff.
  • Students and staff who are unwell, or who have household members on Home Quarantine Order/Stay Home Notice or have children or adult household members with flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough, are required to stay away from school.
  • Students should have their TraceTogether token or app with them throughout the school day to facilitate accurate contact tracing, should the need arise. However, students will not be denied entry to school if they forget to bring their TT token. Do note that TT Tokens or Apps will be required for student participation in out-of-school activities where SE check-ins are carried out via TT-only SE.

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

  • All students and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. Teachers are to wear surgical masks or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness.
  • Young children are to wear masks, unless they are unable to due to pertinent special needs or medical conditions.
  • Any mask-off performing arts activities (e.g. singing, wind/brass instrument playing) will remain suspended until further notice. Singing, voice training and speech and drama activities with mask on will also not be allowed.

Safe Distancing

  • All activities to be grouped by class, with the exception of banded classes for MTL, Subject-Based Banding.
  • Designated exam-style classroom seating.
  • No group activities will be allowed.
  • Maximum of 50 persons for all activities, including lectures in school.
  • Staggered arrival, dismissal and/or recess timings to reduce congestion and intermingling between students in school.
  • Fixed seating with 1m spacing during recess. If not possible, students could eat in classrooms or at appropriate venues with 1m spacing.
Can all CCAs continue from Term 3 onwards? [UPDATED]

CCA activities that pose lower risk, where safe distancing can be adhered to, will gradually resume from the second week of Term 3.

High risk CCA activities and after-school enrichment activities will continue to be suspended until further notice. Schools may reformat these activities to take place virtually or to conduct the activities which requires physical presence at the class level to minimise intermingling.

Is it compulsory for my child to attend the CCAs?

Schools have the option to continue CCAs digitally or at the class level, with SMM guidelines in place. If the CCA is able to continue, students will be expected to attend the CCA sessions. 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). As a precautionary measure, they will be issued a 14-day Leave of Absence, to minimise the risks of further transmission in schools. The affected schools will also be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

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 action will MOE take if there are any confirmed case(s)/clusters in school?

If there is a new confirmed case in the school, face-to-face lessons could be suspended for up to 7 calendar days in the first instance. Instead, Home-based Learning will be conducted.

MOE will work closely with MOH to identify all close contacts of the confirmed case and determine whether staff, students and visitors will need to undergo precautionary swab tests.

Any staff or students who show any symptoms will be required to go to their nearest doctor for treatment and, if necessary, swab tests.

These measures will help to break the chain of transmission, while supporting our students to ensure they can continue their learning. When the school's situation has stabilised, students and staff can return to the school to continue face-to-face lessons (arrangement will depend on the situation).

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?

School bus operators will be encouraged to implement fixed alternate seating as far as possible. If not possible, fixed seating arrangements will still be put in place. Just like on public transport, students will wear masks, remain in their seats and refrain from talking. Operators will continue to maintain a high standard of cleanliness of the buses.

Schools will also continue to work with their school bus operators to ensure they check with students if they feel unwell, or have flu-like symptoms, and if any of the adults in their household has such 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 unless it is you or someone in your immediate household who is a confirmed case.

However, if you or a member of your household are serving your quarantine order at home, your child would need to be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA). 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)? [UPDATED]

DUS facilities will not be available for public bookings till further notice.

There is no change to the current arrangement for DUS free-to-play (FTP) facilities, which will remain closed to the public till further notice.

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. Temperature taking is conducted daily for vendors, including canteen vendors, cleaners, security guards, KCare and Student Care Centre staff. Individuals who have a temperature of 38oC or higher, or 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/QO/LOA/SHN.

How are schools implementing the TraceTogether-only SafeEntry system (TT-only SE)? When would this implementation take place? Aren't schools already safe with all the safe management measures?
Should my child bring the TraceTogether (TT) Token to school? Can my child use the TT App instead of using the Token?
Will my child be denied entry to schools if he/she does not have the TraceTogether (TT) App, or misplaces or forgets to bring his/her TT Token?
Can my child with special educational needs (SEN) be excused from wearing or carrying the TraceTogether (TT) Token?

Leave of Absence (LOA), Stay Home Notice (SHN) and Approved Absence (AA)
What is Approved Absence (AA) and why has my child been placed on it?

AA is a further precautionary measure to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. Students and staff with adult household members who are feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms should inform their schools as soon as possible. They will be placed on AA and be required to stay at home for the duration of the household member's medical leave. We strongly encourage individuals with flu-like symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.

How are schools supporting students on Home Quarantine Order (HQO)/Stay-Home Notice (SHN)/Leave of Absence (LOA)/Approved Absence (AA) 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 if students or staff do not inform the school about adult household members who are unwell or are on Home Quarantine Order (HQO)/Stay-Home Notice (SHN)/Leave of Absence (LOA)?

We urge them to spare a thought for others and do so to be socially responsible.

All of us play a part in ensuring the safety and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones and our society. We should do the responsible thing and see a doctor if unwell.

Ultimately, we can only overcome this virus with the co-operation and public spiritedness of everyone in Singapore.

Under what circumstances will my child be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) or Approved Absence (AA)?

Pre-school, primary, secondary, JC/CI students and students from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) will be placed on LOA:

  • when they are in close contact with confirmed cases but are not placed on Quarantine Order (QO); or
  • if members in their households are in close contact with confirmed cases and are awaiting transportation to Government Quarantine Facilities; or
  • if members in their households are serving the QO at their place of residence; or
  • if members in their households have returned from overseas AND are serving their ICA-issued SHN at their place of residence; or
  • [Only for IHL students] if they return to Singapore from overseas from 2359 hr 7 March 2021 and are serving less than a 21-day SHN^, they would need to serve an additional 7-day LOA. This is in view of the need to keep our IHL campuses safe given the higher density and greater inter-mingling of students within IHLs, and the possibility of tail-end risk of individuals incubating the virus for longer than 14 days. For those already serving a 21-day SHN, there is no need to serve an additional 7-day LOA.

Students can be placed on AA or LOA when they are staying in the same household as adults (18 years and above) with flu-like symptoms, for the duration of the unwell individual's medical leave or until the adult is informed of a negative COVID-19 swab result.

^Please refer to ICA's SHN and Swab Requirements for Travellers to Singapore for more details.

What is Stay Home Notice (SHN)? How does the SHN differ from a Leave of Absence (LOA) and Quarantine Order (QO)?

The SHN is a precautionary measure for Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore with travel history within the last 21 days to all countries.

All travellers (Singapore residents, long-term pass holders, foreign employees issued with a work pass and short-term visitors) entering Singapore at any of our checkpoints could be subject to a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint, even if asymptomatic. With effect from 7 May 2021, 2359 hours, depending on which country travellers entering Singapore have spent their last consecutive 21 days prior to entering Singapore (link), they could be subject to one of the following:

  • 21-day SHN to be served in dedicated SHN facilities;
  • 14-day SHN to be served in dedicated SHN facilities and an additional 7 days at a self-sourced accommodation;
  • 7-day SHN to be served in their place of residence; or
  • Non-requirement to serve SHN.

At the end of the SHN period, they will have to test negative for COVID-19 before resuming their normal activities.

All holders of Work Pass (and their dependants), Long-Term Visit Pass, Student's Pass, as well as those who have been granted In-Principle Approval for Work Pass and Long-Term Pass must obtain approval from MOM/ICA before they commence their journey to Singapore.

Persons issued with a SHN/QO are on stricter regimes than those on LOA, and will be required to remain in their place of residence or quarantine facility at all times during the SHN/QO period. SHN and QO are legal orders. Individuals may be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act and face serious penalties for non-compliance.

In comparison, those on LOAs are allowed to leave their homes briefly to purchase daily necessities or attend to important personal matters. However, they should not be attending school. During the LOA, students and staff are expected to:

  • Remain contactable at all times
  • Remain in the place of residence as much as possible
  • Monitor their health and their temperature
  • (For Students) Follow their HBL plan closely to continue with their learning

Click on the link for a quick explainer on the difference between LOA, SHN and QO: https://www.facebook.com/6788957003/posts/10159347488002004/?d=n

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.

If a student/staff was in close contact with someone who is on Leave of Absence (LOA), would he or she need to be on LOA as well?

There is no need for the student/staff to be placed on LOA if they are in contact with people on LOA. In all circumstances, please continue to adopt good personal hygiene practices and seek medical assistance immediately if you or your child are unwell.

If my child is on LOA, as a parent, will I be able to go to work?

There is no need for you to be on LOA if you are in contact with people on LOA. LOA is a precautionary measure which is issued to people who are healthy. You can continue going to work, if you are working to provide essential services or in selected economic sectors which are critical for our local and global supply chains. Otherwise, you are required to work from home.

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

How can schools ensure that those who are on LOA do not attend school during their LOA period?

Students and staff who are on LOA will be informed by their respective schools that they are not to attend school within the specified period. Parents of students will also be alerted to this. Together with the LOA notice, schools will also share an advisory to parents and students detailing what they need to do during the LOA period.

Students are reminded to be socially responsible to help keep the school a safe environment for learning. In addition, teachers will contact students on LOA daily to check on their well-being. Schools are always vigilant, and should those on LOA turn up at their schools, they will be sent home immediately.

Do staff/students on LOA need to produce certification that they are fit for duty from a doctor at the end of their 14-day LOA period?

No. Staff and students who have ended the 14-day LOA period without developing any symptoms do not need any certification from a doctor before resuming their normal activities. Schools also do not require these individuals to produce a doctor's note to allow them to return to the schools at the end of the LOA period.

In all circumstances, please continue to adopt good personal hygiene practices, and seek medical assistance immediately if you are unwell.

Are vendors, canteen staff, freelance coaches also covered under the LOA measure?

Yes. The LOA provisions cover teaching staff, non-teaching staff, such as administrators, and other non-school staff, including canteen vendors, security guards, KCare and Student Care Centre staff.

Conduct of national examinations
What are the arrangements to ensure the well-being of candidates and staff during the national year-end written examinations?

To ensure the well-being of students and staff during the national year-end examinations, safe management measures such as temperature taking, wearing of masks/face shields and keeping a 1.5m distance between candidates, will be implemented in schools and examination venues during the conduct of the national examinations.

For the national year-end written examinations, MOE and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will make special arrangements for candidates who require them. This is to make sure that as many students as possible are given the opportunity to take the examinations, as long as it can be made safe for their schoolmates and invigilators.

The special arrangements are as follows:


Category Examination Arrangements
Confirmed case of COVID-19 infection Candidates are not allowed to sit for examinations.
Quarantine Order (QO)
Stay Home Notice (SHN)
Leave of Absence, due to close contact with COVID-19 confirmed case(s) in school (LOA(Confirmed))
Leave of Absence, as a result of staying in the same household with individuals on Quarantine Order (QO) (LOA(QO)) Candidates are allowed to sit for examinations if they test negative for COVID-19.
Leave of Absence, as a result of staying in the same household with individuals on Stay Home Notice (LOA(SHN))
Medical leave due to acute respiratory infection (ARI)
Approved Absence (AA), as a result of staying in the same household with adults (aged 18 and above) who have flu-like symptoms Candidates are allowed to sit for examinations.
What are the precautionary measures that will be in place during the national examinations to safeguard the safety and well-being of candidates and examination personnel?

SEAB has developed guidelines on precautionary measures to be adopted for the safe conduct of national examinations in schools and other venues. These are in line with the prevailing nationwide guidelines for safe management which includes:

  • Temperature taking and visual screening of all candidates and examination personnel.
  • All candidates and examination personnel must wear their face masks at all times during the examinations (except for during the oral examinations). The use of face shields would not be allowed unless due to special needs or medical condition.
  • Candidates will be seated 1.5 metres apart from one another, with a maximum of 30 candidates in each classroom.
  • The GCE O- and A-Level Mid-Year Mother Tongue Language examinations will be conducted in classrooms.
  • There will be designated toilets or staggered toilet breaks for groups of candidates where appropriate, to avoid congregation and intermingling between groups.
  • Staggered dismissal timings as well as segregated entry and exit routes to minimise intermingling of candidates and avoid congregation.

MOE and SEAB will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and provide updates if there are any changes to the examination arrangements.

Are there additional precautionary measures in place to protect the well-being of examination personnel who are invigilating candidates under special arrangements?

In addition to the existing safe management and precautionary measures in place for the national examinations, the number of candidates under the special arrangements (such as those on LOA, MC or under AA) that an examination personnel will invigilate is capped at 10 per examination room. The examination personnel will also invigilate candidates with greater distancing to minimise contact with the candidates.

For year-end written examinations, candidates who are on SHN but given permission to sit for the national examinations due to compassionate reasons will take their examinations in a centralised venue managed by SEAB. Examination personnel who are assigned to invigilate these candidates will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment to safeguard their safety and well-being.

What happens if a candidate feels unwell during the written examination?

Candidates who feel unwell during the examination should inform invigilators immediately. They will be escorted out of the examination venue and placed in a separate room. They will not be allowed to continue with the examination and their examination scripts will be submitted to the invigilators. Schools will assess the condition of the candidate and may make arrangements for the candidate to see a doctor.

For such instances, candidates can apply for special consideration.

Why are students on Leave of Absence (LOA), as a result of staying in the same household with individuals on Quarantine Order (QO), tested only once prior to the examinations? What if the student becomes positive after that and is asymptomatic?

Those on QO would have tested negative for COVID-19 and have to comply with strict quarantine measures from the rest of the household. Students on LOA as a result of staying in the same household with individuals on QO are therefore not at high risk of contracting COVID-19. The LOA is an additional precautionary measure taken by MOE.

Other than testing prior to the examination, students on LOA are also required to take their examinations at a separate venue, with stricter safe management measures implemented.

For students who are absent from their examinations due to valid medical reasons/LOA/staying in the same household with individuals on home quarantine order or those diagnosed with acute respiratory infection, how will their scores be derived if they cannot sit for the examinations?

Special Consideration (SC) is a process where the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) takes into account the adverse or unforeseen circumstances in which a candidate sat for, or missed a paper, to ensure that he/she is still fairly assessed and not disadvantaged. Examples of such circumstances include an illness or an injury.

For candidates who had been tested positive for COVID-19, placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) / Quarantine Order (QO) / Stay Home Notice (SHN), or certified medically unfit and had missed their papers, SC will be applied to these affected candidates on a case-by-case basis. SEAB will take into consideration multiple sources of information including the candidate’s performance in the other papers taken for the same subject in the national examination and the school-based assessment.

How can candidates apply for Special Consideration?

School candidates can submit relevant documents (for example, medical certificates) to support their Special Consideration application to SEAB through their school, or directly to SEAB if they are private candidates. All Special Consideration applications are to be submitted within three days after the last day of the examination.

Special Consideration for private candidates will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) - UPDATED
Why is dining in allowed in the IHL canteens and dining halls? Can the public also dine in at these canteens and dining halls?

While many classes in the IHLs have been converted to online mode, there are some exceptions for essential in-person sessions such as labs, practicals and final-year projects, which will continue to be conducted in person with all the necessary SMMs in place. There are also some IHL staff and students staying on campus in hostels.

As it would not be practicable for these IHL staff and students to return home for their meals during the day, they are allowed to dine in at canteens and dining halls with all the necessary SMMs in place, such as:

  1. At least 1m distancing when queuing and eating;
  2. Avoiding social interactions while eating; and
  3. Leaving the canteen immediately after finishing their meals.

Members of the public are not allowed to dine at the IHLs' canteens and dining halls.

Will IHL students still be able to participate in internships/work attachments? [UPDATED]

Students can continue to participate in internships/work attachments, and should adhere to all prevailing Safe Management Measures at the organisations they are attached to.

Why were some graduation ceremonies converted to virtual ceremonies?

In view of the current COVID-19 situation and tightened Safe Management Measures, MOE and the IHLs have decided to convert the remaining face-to-face graduation ceremonies to virtual ceremonies to reduce the risk of crowding and exposure on campus, while ensuring the current cohort of students can graduate on time.

MOE and the IHLs understand the significance of graduation for our students. The IHLs will strive to ensure that the virtual ceremonies remain as meaningful experiences for graduands.

How will virtual graduation ceremonies be conducted?

Individual IHLs will inform affected graduands on the details of how their virtual graduation ceremony will be conducted.

How will ITE and the polytechnics ensure that the online EAE selection is fair and rigorous?

Institutions have made appropriate adjustments to their assessment rubrics and criteria, to ensure that the online selection format can continue to be carried out seamlessly this year.

They will also continue to document the EAE selection process, including recording interviews (where appropriate), and the evaluations made by the selection panels.

The assessments will continue to be carried out objectively and rigorously, in a fair and inclusive manner.

With the new variant of COVID-19 surfacing in Singapore, how will IHLs ensure the safety of their students?

IHLs are committed to ensuring that their campuses remain safe for students and staff. IHLs have put in place a suite of safe management measures, guided by MOH guidelines. Classes have been largely converted to online mode, and in-person attendance on campus has been reduced significantly.

Students and staff should continue to monitor their health, and seek medical attention immediately, if unwell. They should observe good personal hygiene, and adhere to SMMs, including practising safe distancing and wearing their masks when leaving home.

Can CCAs and activities/programmes continue in IHLs in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert)? [UPDATED]

Group student activities involving 50 people or less can resume. Large scale in-person events which involve more than 50 persons will continue to be postponed or suspended until further notice.

Examinations will continue to be conducted in classrooms with no more than 50 persons, or converted to online mode, where practicable.

How will IHLs safeguard the well-being of staff and students on campus? [UPDATED]

IHLs continue to adopt safe management measures to ensure safe management on campus. The measures include the following:

Screening

  • All students, staff, vendors and visitors will be required to check in and out using TraceTogether-only SafeEntry when entering or leaving the campus.
  • Temperature and symptom screening at entrances.
  • Students and staff who are unwell, or who have household members on Home Quarantine Order/Stay Home Notice or have adult household members with flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough, are required to stay away from campus.

Hygiene

  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and disinfection of the premises.

Mask Wearing

  • All students and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. When teaching, staff are to wear surgical masks or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness.
  • Any mask-off performing arts activities (e.g. singing, wind/brass instrument playing) will remain suspended until further notice. Singing, voice training and speech and drama activities with mask on will also not be allowed.

Safe Distancing

  • All in-person lessons will be conducted with SMMs in place. These SMMs include:
    • Safe distancing of at least 1 metre between individuals on campus.
    • Group activities to be capped at a maximum of 5 persons.
    • Fixed seating will be implemented in teaching venues, where practicable.
    • Start and end timings for lessons will be staggered where possible to avoid inter-mingling.
How about international students who are currently in their home countries?

International students who are currently in their home countries will continue with full home-based learning. IHLs will remain in close contact with them, and continue to offer them the necessary academic support, to mitigate impact on their learning.

Are IHL students and staff required to wear masks when they return to campus?

Yes, in line with the national policy, all staff and students will generally be required to wear masks at all times while on campus.

Notwithstanding this, 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.
The IHLs are suspending their official overseas placements (e.g. internship or exchange programmes). How will the affected students be supported?

Given the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 situation, MOE and the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have decided to suspend all official overseas placements, including all internships and exchange programmes, until end-July. Students who are currently on such overseas placements will be recalled as soon as is practicable.

The decision to suspend overseas placements was reached after careful consideration of the uncertainties ahead, the fact that the students would be able to access similarly meaningful learning opportunities locally (e.g. local internships, credit bearing modules during summer semester), as well as the well-being of our students and their academic progression.

IHLs will work with each affected student to provide alternative learning arrangements so that they can graduate on time, to support them at no additional cost. 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.

How are IHLs implementing the TraceTogether (TT)-only SafeEntry system? When would this implementation take place? Aren't IHLs already safe with all the safe management measures?
Will Private Education Institutions (PEIs) be required to implement TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE)?
Private Education Institutions (PEIs) - UPDATED
What requirements are PEIs subject to during this period? [UPDATED]

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, enrichment and training - UPDATED

Please refer to MOE's Notification on the Suspension of Private Tuition and Enrichment from 19 May 2021 to 20 June 2021 [last updated on 14 Jun 2021] and Advisory on Safe Management Measures for Private Tuition and Enrichment in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) [last updated on 14 Jun 2021].

When will the suspension of face-to-face tuition and enrichment classes for students aged 18 and younger be lifted?

As announced on 10 June 2021, if the situation remains under control in the coming weeks, in-person tuition and enrichment classes will be allowed to operate from 21 June 2021. The Multi-Ministry Task Force will continue to review the circumstances and may extend the suspension if necessary.

What types of in-person classes need to be suspended, given the tighter safe distancing measures announced on 16 May 2021? [UPDATED]

As announced on 10 June 2021, if the situation remains under control in the coming weeks, all in-person tuition and enrichment classes will be allowed to operate from 21 June 2021. In the meantime, all organisations and individuals offering tuition and enrichment activities, whether academic or non-academic, must continue to conduct their lessons for students aged 18 and younger online until 20 June 2021 (inclusive) or otherwise suspend these lessons during this period. This includes but is not limited to education and development support activities, arts and culture classes and workshops, religious classes, as well as sports and physical activity classes and programmes.

The above suspension applies to all organisations and individuals (including centre-based classes, home-based businesses as well as one-on-one classes), with the exception of the following, which may continue on-premise instruction, subject to prevailing safe management measures:

  1. MOE-registered Foreign System Kindergartens;
  2. Organisations providing full-time pre-tertiary education to students age 18 and below that leads to a qualification, i.e. Private Education Institutions (PEIs) registered with the Committee for Private Education and Privately-funded Schools (PFSs)1;
  3. Organisations and individuals providing consultation and assessment services for students provided by therapists regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council or psychologists registered with the Singapore Psychological Society’s Register of Psychologists in alignment with MOH guidelines on healthcare services;
  4. Early Intervention (EI) centres funded by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)2, in compliance with ECDA's guidelines for EI services; and
  5. Organisations and individuals when providing outdoor sport or physical activity classes and programmes, subject to the prevailing group size limit:
    • (From 14 – 20 Jun 2021; inclusive): Class size of five persons, inclusive of instructor, allowed.

Early Childhood Development Centres licensed by ECDA, and student care centres may continue to provide care to children, subject to prevailing safe management measures. On-premise instruction provided in the course of this care will also be permitted.

Classes catering exclusively to students older than 18 years old may also continue in person, subject to prevailing safe management measures.

Footnotes

1. I.e. Anglo-Chinese School (International), Hwa Chong International School, St Joseph's Institution International (High School)

2. Businesses or individuals that provide arts and sports therapy can approach NAC or SportSG respectively to appeal to continue their services.

Will private tutors operating out of private residences be required to suspend their lessons?

All home-based tuition/enrichment providers must continue to conduct classes online or suspend lessons until 20 June 2021 (inclusive), unless they cater solely to students older than age 18. This is subject to the prevailing national group size limit and number of unique household visitors allowed per day.

Home ventilation should be improved by opening doors and windows. Fans can be used to promote air circulation when needed.

What are the safe management measures that should be implemented for tuition and enrichment centres that are allowed to continue on-premise instruction? [UPDATED]

To reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, centres are required to abide by the nationwide safe management measures for workplaces issued on 9 May 2020. These include health checks, the use of SafeEntry to support contact tracing for all employees, students and other visitors, wearing of masks at all times, and regular cleaning of common facilities and high-touch areas. More details are available at the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general).

Tuition and enrichment centres must ensure that work-from-home is the default arrangement for employees who are able to do so.

For centres conducting on-premise instruction, they are expected to observe all the following measures in classrooms and other areas accessed by students. For avoidance of doubt, these measures apply to all centres, as and when on-premise instruction is allowed:

  1. Safe distancing. Safe distancing measures for centres which are allowed to continue on-premise instruction are:
    1. Students: Centres must ensure safe distancing between students by putting up appropriate floor demarcations and/or physical barriers, e.g. using safety tape. There must also be strict separation between students in different classrooms at all times, with no intermingling.
      • As a default, centres must ensure that all students maintain safe distancing of at least 1m at all times, with strictly no physical interaction between students.
      • If it is not possible to apply 1m safe distancing between students and some interaction is unavoidable, centres may instead organise students into groups of no more than five students, with strictly no physical interaction or intermingling between different groups. Centres must strictly maintain a minimum of 1m spacing between groups, although MOE advises 2m spacing between groups as a best practice.
    2. Tutors/instructors: Tutors/instructors are advised to minimise contact with students, If some interaction is unavoidable, contact with students should be transient, and they should remain at the front of the class as much as is practicable.
    3. Capacity: No single room within a centre should hold more than 50 persons, including tutors/instructors, even as the above measures are adopted.
    4. Centres are also reminded that per MOM’s guidelines for workplaces, there should be no cross-deployment across worksites. More information on prevailing workplace SMMs can be found on the MOM website (https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures).
  2. Health declarations. Centres should not permit students who are placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) or Approved Absence (AA) by their schools, or students and staff who are on a Stay Home Notice (SHN), or Home Quarantine Order (HQO) to enter the centre premises. We also advise centres to watch out for staff and students with fever or respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, breathlessness, runny nose, loss of sense of smell, cough, or sore throat. Staff and students with the above symptoms or who are unwell should be advised to leave the centre and see a doctor immediately, and should not be allowed to attend lessons. As a best practice, centres should also check if a family member living in the same household is unwell. If so, the child should not attend lessons in person.
  3. Disinfection of surfaces. All surfaces in classrooms must be thoroughly disinfected between classes. Sharing of all equipment (e.g. props, microphones) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before being handled or used by others. Please note that sharing of wind/brass instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds) is not allowed (please refer here for details; note that all in-person singing, and wind/brass instrument classes are suspended in the first part of Phase Three (Heightened Alert)) – i.e. until 20 June 2021.)
  4. 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.
  5. Class timings. Centres must allocate at least 15 minutes between classes. This is to allow adequate time to disinfect classroom surfaces, and to ensure strict separation of individuals from different classes. Centres should also work out attendance and dismissal arrangements that help avoid congestion of individuals in or outside the centre.
  6. Ventilation. All premises should abide by the latest guidance on improving ventilation and indoor air quality in buildings amid the COVID-19 situation, available on the NEA website.

Centres should also abide by other sector-specific Safe Management Measures available on the GoBusiness website, and to prevailing circulars issued by the Government.

Some tuition and enrichment classes involve high movement activities (e.g. sports, dance), or activities which carry a higher risk of virus transmission through droplet spread (e.g. singing, wind/brass instruments). What additional safe management measures should be implemented?

For all sport or physical activity classes, as well as outdoor dance classes, please refer to the advisory issued by Sport Singapore.

For indoor dance classes, singing, wind/brass instrument classes, voice training, and speech and drama classes, please refer to the advisory issued by the National Arts Council.

From 14 June (both dates inclusive), sport or physical activity classes for students aged 18 and younger can take place outdoors in classes of up to five persons. Between 14 and 20 June 2021, can I conduct my tuition class for students aged 18 and younger if it is held outdoors?

No. Only outdoor classes involving sport or physical activity in classes of up to five persons, inclusive of instructor, may continue, subject to the safe management measures outlined by Sport Singapore.

In-person tuition classes for students aged 18 and younger would be allowed to resume from 21 June 2021 onwards, as long as the situation remains under control in the coming weeks.

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

From 14 June 2021, tuition and enrichment centres may resume indoor live performances (e.g. music concerts or drama performances) with MOE’s approval, subject to the safe management measures to ensure safety of performers, crews, and audiences outlined in the advisory issued by the National Arts Council.

Tuition and enrichment centres who wish to apply to host an indoor live performance can submit an application to moe_pss@moe.gov.sg with the following details, at least three weeks in advance of the proposed event date:

  1. Date of event;
  2. Purpose of event;
  3. Total number of performers and crew participating in live performance;
  4. Total number of on-site audience; and
  5. Proposed safe management measures.
Will Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses for adults be allowed to continue?

All training providers are strongly encouraged to continue conducting CET training online.

CET activities which involve “mask-off” activities such as strenuous physical activities and exercises, will continue to be disallowed before 20 June 2021.

For health and safety reasons, the maximum class size for all other in-person CET activities is capped at 50 persons (including the trainer(s)). For SSG-funded CET programmes, SSG’s prevailing guideline for a maximum class size of 40 persons (excluding the trainer(s)) for course quality reasons remains and takes precedence.

As far as possible, training providers should ensure safe distancing of at least 1m between individuals at all times. Where not feasible or practical to do so, this 1m requirement can instead be enforced between groups, with each group made up of not more than five persons, and no mixing between different groups, with effect from 14 June 2021. There should be assigned seating in classrooms and other training venues where practicable.

Can private tuition/enrichment classes and training sessions be held in external venues (e.g. function rooms)? [UPDATED]

Private tuition/enrichment classes, and training sessions by the Institutes of Higher Learning and SSG-funded training providers, can be conducted at external venues, if those venues are open. Such external venues may include condominium function rooms, private conference and meeting rooms, etc. Prior to 21 June 2021, such classes and training sessions must only involve students over 18 years old.

Conduct of face-to-face lessons is subject to premise capacity caps and safe management measures. Private providers should approach premise owners for advice on the capacity caps for their respective venues. No single room should hold more than 50 persons, including tutors/instructors/trainers, subject to further capacity limits for masked sports/dance/speech/voice training/drama classes, or the premise capacity cap, whichever is lower.

There should be a wipe-down regimen after each use at such external venues. Private providers must also adhere to the safe management guidelines for private tuition/enrichment and CET courses, which are outlined in the FAQs within this section.

Can tuition and enrichment centres providing face-to-face classes switch to online learning?

Yes, tuition and enrichment centres providing face-to-face classes can consider online lessons. Centres should review the safe management measures that they are able to put in place and can make their own business decisions regarding continuation of online learning, taking into consideration the efficacy of instruction and the needs and expectations of students/parents.

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

On 4 May 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SafeEntry) will be implemented at all venues that experience higher throughput of visitors, and/or where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods from 17 May 2021. The TT programme and SafeEntry are important digital tools that enable contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate close contacts of COVID-19 cases. This helps to break transmission chains and prevent community outbreaks. TT tokens may be collected at designated collection points (please refer to https://token.gowhere.gov.sg for more information).

Tuition, enrichment centres and SSG-funded training providers must therefore ensure that TT-only SafeEntry is implemented in your premises, and that entry to your centres will be allowed only if the individual uses their TT App to scan the centre’s QR code or presents the QR code on the TT token to be scanned. This includes staff, students aged 7 years and above, parents and other visitors.

From 15 June 2021, it is mandatory for all tuition, enrichment centres and SSG-funded training providers to deploy SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) to facilitate SafeEntry (SE) check-in for students aged 7 years and above, parents, staff and visitors, and help users check that their TT token is working. Tuition, enrichment centres and SSG-funded training providers are reminded to download the SafeEntry (Business) app to use the SEGW function or register for a SEGW box on the SE website (go.gov.sg/gateway-overview). Centres should maintain attendance records for children below 7 to facilitate contact tracing if required.

At the point of entry into the centres, if any student forgets to bring their TT token, they should be asked to download the TT app on their phones before they are allowed entry. However, if the student is unable to do so (e.g. phone is out of battery), the student’s personal details should be noted down as a last resort, before the individual is granted entry. The centre should retain all such records for at least a month to facilitate contact tracing if necessary.

Business may refer to the SafeEntry User Guide for requirements on how to scan the TT tokens, available at https://www.safeentry.gov.sg (please navigate to Resources > User Guide > SafeEntry NRIC User Guide for Business). Updates may also be found at https://www.smartnation.gov.sg/whats-new/press-releases.

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

As with tuition and enrichment centres (see this question), private tutors providing face-to-face classes operating out of private residences will need to implement TT-only SafeEntry.

Can MOE help to facilitate a refund of the fees I had already paid for the period where face-to-face classes were suspended for students aged 18 years and younger?

As matters pertaining to the payment of fees is a contractual matter and practices vary across different providers, we advise parents, guardians and affected students to work with and seek an amicable resolution directly with the private provider in question.

Which students are considered “above 18” and not subject to the suspension of private tuition and enrichment that lasts until 20 June 2021 (inclusive)?

This refers to students who have passed their 18th birthday.

Therapy and assessment services for special educational needs - UPDATED
I am a private provider / Allied Health Professional offering services for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities. May I provide services and what are the safe management measures that I need to adhere to?

Registered Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) defined as professionals regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council and psychologists registered with the Singapore Psychological Society’s Register of Psychologists can provide consultation and assessment services for students with special educational needs or disabilities. These AHPs should adhere to sector-specific guidelines, prevailing precautionary measures and safe distancing requirements, as well as infection and control measures such as hand hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines relevant to each setting.

For Early Intervention (EI) services provided to pre-school children (aged 0 - 6), please refer to ECDA’s guidelines on EI services.

All non-Public Healthcare Institutions AHS, including psychology services, must adhere to the following in addition to aligning with MOH guidelines on healthcare services:

  1. Group therapy for a maximum of 5 clients per session (count excludes AHPs and support staff)

As announced on 10 June 2021, if the situation remains under control in the coming weeks, other in-person services for students with SEN or disabilities will be allowed to operate from 21 June 2021, subject to prevailing safe management measures.

Government quarantine facilities
Why do we allow university dorms to be designated as Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs)? Will allowing this put the wider student population at risk?

Currently, there are three university hostels designated as Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs) – designated blocks at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Prince George's Park Residences, Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Graduate Hall 1, and Singapore Management University's (SMU) Blk 83 Prinsep St. They have always been part of the Government's national contingency plan for a disease outbreak. We are getting them ready to be on standby, should the number of people served with QO goes up. The designated hostels will only be primarily activated when a student in our educational institutions or schools is required to serve QOs and does not have suitable accommodation.

Persons served QOs are required to stay in their designated rooms at all times within the allocated quarantine period. They are not allowed to use common facilities within the GQF. There will be no visitors, and food and all necessary supplies will be delivered to them.

There are also security measures in place to ensure compliance to GQF guidelines. All staff working at the GQF are also provided with personal protective equipment, such as masks, as advised by the Ministry of Health (MOH). GQFs also undergo rigorous cleansing and hygiene regimes according to MOH and National Environment Agency (NEA) guidelines. In other words, the persons will not be mingling with the larger population around them.