COVID-19: Unvaccinated in Singapore barred from NLB libraries

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Library@Harbourfront public library (PHOTO: National Library Board
Library@Harbourfront public library (PHOTO: National Library Board

SINGAPORE – From 1 December, the list of places and events that unvaccinated individuals cannot enter or attend will be expanded to include National Library Board libraries and selected activities in People's Association venues. 

In a virtual press conference on Saturday (20 November), the COVID Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) said that even as safe management measures are further relaxed, the risk of transmission in some settings can be further reduced. 

Resumption of hospital and care home visits

In-person visits to hospitals and residential care homes will resume on Monday, with enhanced Vaccinated Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS)-related measures in place. 

Such in-person visits will be allowed only for fully vaccinated hospital patients, or care home residents, and their visitors. 

As a concession, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release on Saturday, visits will be allowed for patients or residents, and visitors, who are medically ineligible for a COVID vaccine. "If the patient or resident and/or visitor are not fully vaccinated, in-person visits will only be allowed under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis, as advised by the hospitals and homes," said the MOH. 

Regardless of vaccination status, all visitors will be subject to pre-visit testing requirements: 

  • Visitors who are allowed into hospital wards and homes must show a valid negative Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result obtained within the last 24 hours of each visit. All tests are to be self-funded by the visitor.

  • Fully vaccinated or medically ineligible visitors can opt for an ART administered or supervised by MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers (including tests performed at Quick Test Centres), or perform an unsupervised self-administered ART for the purpose of fulfilling the pre-visit testing requirement. Fully vaccinated or medically ineligible visitors who opt to undergo unsupervised self-administered ART will be required to show evidence of a valid ART result. For example, they should present a time-stamped photo of the dated ART result and photo ID for verification prior to entry into the hospital ward or home. 

  • Under exceptional circumstances when non-fully vaccinated visitors are allowed, hospitals and homes will only accept ARTs administered or supervised by MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers (including tests performed at Quick Test Centres). Results from unsupervised self-administered ARTs will not be accepted for this group of visitors.

In general, visits will be capped at 30 minutes per eligible visitor.

In-person visits in hospitals

Each patient will be allowed to register up to two visitors for each admission with only one visitor allowed at the bedside at any one time, the MOH said. Patients who are critically ill will be allowed five registered visitors for each admission, with two visitors allowed at the bedside each time. 

Each patient can receive up to two visits per day, with each visit lasting 30 minutes. 

A summary of the visitors allowed based on vaccination status is provided in the table below:

COVID-19: Conditions of in-person visits to hospitals from 22 November 2021 (TABLE: MOH)
COVID-19: Conditions of in-person visits to hospitals from 22 November 2021 (TABLE: MOH)

In-person visits in homes

Each fully vaccinated or medically ineligible resident will be allowed up to four designated fully vaccinated or medically ineligible visitors, with one designated visitor allowed per visit, the MOH said. Each visit is to be capped at 30 minutes. 

Visitors should strictly adhere to prevailing safe management measures within the homes, the ministry added.

No more concession for unvaccinated to perform PET to enter VDS settings

From 1 January, Singapore will remove the concession for unvaccinated individuals to perform pre-event testing (PET) to enter a VDS setting, in lieu of being fully vaccinated.

This means that from next year, only fully-vaccinated, recovered, medically ineligible individuals, or children aged 12 years and below (subject to venue/event-specific caps) will be allowed to enter settings where VDS is implemented. 

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