As easy as 1, 2, 3: What you need to do under Singapore's simplified Covid-19 protocols

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore is hitting the "reset button" on Covid-19 protocols as authorities simplify rules accumulated over 20 months, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a multi-ministry task force press conference on Saturday (Oct 9) afternoon.

The three new protocols will kick in next Monday (Oct 11).

Current rules "have become confusing and frustrating for most people" as they disrupted their lives in areas such as work and school, he said.

"Some people tell me they're more afraid of these rules than Covid-19 itself."

To address public concerns, the protocols have been updated and home recovery will be the default care arrangement for the majority of the Covid-19 cases.

Here's what you need to know:

1. If you have symptoms and test positive for Covid-19

See a doctor. If you test positive again, go home and wait for instructions from a home recovery buddy.

If you're fully vaccinated or under 12, you can return to normal life after 10 days. If you're not fully vaccinated, you'll have to isolate yourself for 14 days.

Everyone will get an electronic discharge memo at the end of the isolation period.

2. If you don't have symptoms but test positive for Covid-19

You're required to self-isolate for 72 hours. If you test positive after this time period, you'll have to continue isolating yourself until you test negative, when you may then resume your daily activities.

You will not need to visit a doctor unless you develop symptoms such as a high fever or breathlessness.

3. If you're a close contact of a Covid-19 case

You'll no longer receive a notification for quarantine order and leave of absence. Instead, you'll get a health risk warning.

You'll have to collect antigen rapid test (ART) kits from one of the vending machines available islandwide, and monitor your own health for seven days.

During this period, you can still leave your home as long as you take an ART and test negative before going out.

If you have difficulty isolating yourself at home (such as living with vulnerable persons), there are official quarantine facilities available.

If you're currently under previous Covid-19 protocols

If you're a Covid-19 patient and are recovering at home, you'll have to finish your 10- or 14-day isolation depending on your vaccination status.

If you're simply serving a quarantine order, you will no longer need to take an exit polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. You're allowed to go out for the day as long as your ART result is negative.

 You'll have completed quarantine after seven days.

ART kits

Singapore will rely heavily on the ART, which can be self-administered and show results in 15 minutes.

The Ministry of Health will be distributing 10 ART kits to each household from Oct 22 to Dec 7 via SingPost.


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