LOA, SHN, QO - Confused? All your questions answered here

As the entire world battles the outbreak of COVID-19, we here in Singapore are no different. The government has put into place a number of measures to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

So here is a one-stop guide for everything you need to know about the rules and measures that apply to you, whether you are a resident, a work pass holder or a visitor, on LOA, SHN or QO.  

LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA)

A precautionary measure with people advised to be socially responsible.

How will LOA affect household members? 

It is not necessary for household members to be segregated from the person placed on LOA, and you can continue to share the same room/apartment. But household members are encouraged to reduce interaction and minimise contact with persons on LOA.

What if you develop symptoms while on LOA? 

If you develop fever, cough or breathlessness, or are feeling unwell, you should seek medical attention immediately at any outpatient clinic. Please inform them of your travel history. Wear a surgical mask before leaving your residence and avoid taking public transport. Your doctor will assess and refer you to hospital for further assessment, including testing for COVID-19, if necessary. If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to see a doctor or go to a hospital to be tested for the presence of the infection.

In emergency situations (e.g. difficulty in breathing), call 995 for an ambulance to take you to hospital. Please inform the 995 operator of your travel history. 

Can someone live in the same room as a person on LOA?

While you can live in the same room as a person on LOA, you are encouraged to reduce interaction and minimise contact with a person on LOA. For example, avoid sharing a bed, limit the time spent together at common areas within the apartment, have separate meal times, ensure that the room has proper ventilation etc.

Can persons on LOA share the same toilet as other occupants in the same household?

You are advised to avoid sharing the same toilet where possible. If it is not practical to do so, avoid using the toilet at the same time and clean toilet surfaces more frequently. You may also wish to allow some time to pass between toilet usage, in order to allow any remaining water droplets after showers to settle. Sharing the same roll of toilet paper is safe as long as the toilet roll is not stained, soiled or wet.

Sharing of towels is not advised.

STAY-HOME NOTICE (SHN)

Stricter than LOA and can invite legal action if violated.

How does SHN affect household members?

Family members may continue to live with you. However, you and your family should observe good personal hygiene practices (as above). If you become unwell, avoid contact with your family members and seek medical attention immediately.

Can someone live in the same room as a person under SHN?

While you can live in the same room as a person under SHN, you are encouraged to reduce interaction and minimise contact. For example, avoid sharing a bed, limit the time spent together at common areas within the apartment, have separate meal times, ensure that the room has proper ventilation, etc.

Can persons issued SHN share the same toilet as other occupants in the same household?

You are advised to avoid sharing the same toilet where possible. If it is not practical to do so, avoid using the toilet at the same time and clean toilet surfaces more frequently. You may also wish to allow some time to pass between toilet usage, in order to allow any remaining water droplets after showers to settle. Sharing the same roll of toilet paper is safe as long as the toilet roll is not stained, soiled or wet.

Do not share towels. 

What if medical attention is needed while on SHN? 

For life-threatening cases such as cardiac arrest, active seizures, breathlessness, major traumas and stroke, call 995 directly for assistance.

For non-emergencies (such as cough or fever, follow-up visits for chronic conditions, refilling of prescription, etc.): 

a. For Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Visit Pass holders: You may contact the People’s Association (PA) at 63448222 to make necessary arrangements with the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or GP clinic, or to arrange for a house call by a GP (for those with mobility issues). Please inform the staff and doctor of your travel history and that you have been issued a SHN

b. For students/ pre-school students: Seek assistance from your school or MOE/ECDA​

c. For foreign employees issued with a work pass: Contact your employer

What if I do not comply with the SHN? 

Failure to comply with the SHN, may invite the following penalties: 

a. You may be prosecuted under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act1 

b. If you are a Singapore Permanent Resident, Long-Term Visit Pass holder, Dependant’s Pass holder, or Student’s Pass holder, your Re-Entry Permit or passes may be revoked or the validity shortened

c. If you are a foreign employee issued with a work pass, your work pass may be revoked. This is because the SHN is imposed on you pursuant to Section 7(4)(a) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act2 

d. If your child/ward is a full-time student attending a preschool, school or other educational institution in Singapore, your child/ward might be subjected to disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal. For foreign students, this may include the cancellation of your child’s/ward’s Student’s Pass or Dependant’s Pass.

Is a test required at the end of the 14-day LOA/SHN period, to be cleared to go back to work/school?

No. Individuals who have ended the 14-day LOA/SHN period without developing any symptoms do not need any certification from a doctor before resuming their normal activities. They will not be offered diagnostic testing. Individuals who are well should NOT be visiting GPs, polyclinics or Emergency Departments to seek a doctor’s letter to return to school or work.

QUARANTINE ORDER (QO)

Issued to quarantine or isolate an individual who is, or is suspected to be, a carrier of an infectious disease, or a contact of a person confirmed to have an infectious disease.

Quarantine usually occurs in the home but can also be served in dedicated Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs) or hospitals, should the individual not have suitable accommodation in Singapore.

How will those who are under quarantine orders at home be monitored?

Individuals under quarantine will be monitored by video calls at least three times a day.

Spot checks will be carried out to ensure that they strictly adhere to the conditions under the Isolation / Quarantine Order (QO) during the period specified. If they are found to be non-compliant, the Director of Medical Services may require them to wear an electronic tag or order that they be detained and isolated in a hospital or in any other suitable place. It is an offence to not comply with the conditions listed in accordance with the QO.

What to do if urgent matters need to be attended to? What happens if someone breaks quarantine?

Persons under quarantine must not leave their designated location for any reason. Should they require assistance for daily needs beyond what is provided for under the home quarantine package, they should arrange with their relatives/friends to purchase groceries and assist in their daily needs whenever necessary. If they urgently need to leave their place of isolation / their home for matters needing personal attention which cannot be postponed, they must first seek the permission of the Quarantine Order (QO) Agent.

I have been in recent contact with someone who has been issued a Quarantine Order (QO). What should I do?

Persons issued with a Quarantine Order are individuals assessed to have had close contact with a confirmed case, and they are generally well and have no symptoms.

Monitor your health closely. If you have fever, cough or runny nose, wear a mask and seek medical attention promptly. Call the clinic ahead of your visit and inform the doctor of your symptoms as well as your travel history, if any.

Does being under a Quarantine Order (QO) utilise quota for medical leave or hospitalisation leave at places of employment?

Employees who are served a Quarantine Order (QO) will be deemed to be on paid sick leave. The period of absence from work would be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employees’ hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts or agreements.  

COUNTRY-WISE LIST OF HEALTH CLEARANCES REQUIRED TO ENTER SINGAPORE

Graphics courtesy: Connected to India
Graphics courtesy: Connected to India

* ASEAN nationals are required to submit requisite health information for approval before travelling

* Short-term Visitors are required to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day Stay-Home Notice, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.

All information for this article has been sourced from the Singapore Ministry of Health website

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

Comments
Poll

What is your reaction to the Netflix reality show Indian Matchmaking?

  • Love it - Can't wait for Season 2
  • Hate it - Can't tolerate even one episode
  • It's like looking in the mirror- warts and all
  • I cringe but just can't stop watching
  • I am neutral, no strong feelings
Answer
Write your story

Contribute an Article

Learn more