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Updated as of 04 Jun 2021

Leave of Absence (LOA), Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and Quarantine Order (QO)


What is the difference between being issued a Quarantine Order (QO), being under a Leave of Absence (LOA) and being under a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?

A:

A QO is a legal order issued to individuals under the Infectious Diseases Act and thus has legal force with severe penalties for non-compliance. A QO is 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. This is with the aim of limiting the spread of the virus in the community. MOH will establish if a QO should be served out in the home, dedicated Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs) or hospitals, based on an assessment of a person’s contact history, state of health, and the suitability of the home.

A Leave of Absence (LOA) is a precautionary measure which may be applied by public agencies. We urge those who are on LOA to be socially responsible and comply with the LOA, to prevent possible transmission of infections. Persons on LOA should remain in their residences as much as possible and minimise social contact. Persons on LOA may leave their residences for daily necessities or to attend important matters, but they must minimise time spent in public spaces and contact with others.

A Stay-Home Notice (SHN) is issued to all travellers who are granted entry to Singapore, as a precautionary measure to minimize the risk of additional imported cases of COVID-19. Travellers that are serving their SHN are not allowed to leave their place of residence or SHN-Dedicated Facility (SDF) for the duration of the SHN period. Please visit https://go.gov.sg/govsg-shn for more information on SHN.

 

Why am I am supposed to serve a 21-day Quarantine Order (QO) when others I know are serving their QO for 14 days?

A:

For persons identified as close contacts of a confirmed case with history of travel from the UK and South Africa, the QO period has been revised to 21-days from last exposure. This is to mitigate the threat to the community posed by the emergence of new strains of COVID-19 which are potentially more contagious.

 

I am employed. Does being under a Quarantine Order (QO) utilise my quota for medical leave or hospitalisation leave?

A:

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.


What must I do when I am being quarantined? How will it affect my household members?

A:

If you are issued a quarantine order and live with other household members who are not issued quarantine orders, you will be conveyed to a Government Quarantine Facility (GQF) to serve your quarantine period

This is because those under quarantine are not supposed to come into contact with others in order to avoid the possibility of the spread of virus through person-to-person contact. Hence, those under quarantine will need to be isolated from and cannot physically interact with others living in the same premises.

There may be exceptional circumstances in which you may serve your quarantine at home with other household members who are not issued quarantine orders e.g. if you require a caregiver.

 

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

A:

If individual are issued quarantine orders together with all other household members, they will serve their quarantine orders at home, unless the premises are deemed unsuitable. 

Individuals under quarantine will be monitored by video calls or the QO App (HOMER) 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 if they do not comply with the conditions listed in accordance with the QO.

 

If I need to go out to attend to urgent matters, what should I do?  What will happen if I break quarantine?

A:

Persons under quarantine must not leave their designated location for any reason. Should they require assistance for daily needs, 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.

Spot checks will be carried out to ensure that they strictly adhere to the conditions under the Isolation / Quarantine Order 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 if they do not comply with the conditions listed in accordance with the QO.

 

Why do I need a swab? Is it mandatory?

A:

All Persons Under Quarantine (PUQ)* will be tested for COVID-19 during their Quarantine Order (QO) period. Typically, an entry swab will be scheduled at the start of the QO for an early identification of infection, and an exit swab will be scheduled for public health assurance before the QO ends.

Persons Under Phone Surveillance (PUPS)* and Persons placed on Stay-Home Notice (PSHN) will be tested for COVID-19 near the end of their phone surveillance period and Stay-Home Notice period respectively.

These swab tests are mandatory under the Infectious Diseases Act to ensure that these persons do not pose any public health risk before entering the community.

*PUQs and PUPS are typically close contacts and casual contacts of COVID positive case(s) respectively.

 

How do I go about getting swabbed?

A:

Swab tests for PUQs, PUPS and PSHNs are conducted strictly by appointment at a designated testing sites. For PUQs, two-way conveyance to the designated testing site will be arranged for you.

For PSHNs, individual transportation (e.g. private or pre-booked taxi) to the designated testing site will have to be arranged. Please refer to the MOH Health Advisory for Persons Issued Stay-Home Notice to pre-book a taxi.

For PUPS, individual transportation (e.g. public or private transport) to the designated testing site would have to be arranged on your own.

 

How long do I have to wait to receive the test results?

A: 

You will be informed of your swab test results within 1 to 4 days via SMS notification.  If you have a Singpass account*, you may login to the HealthHub page (https://eservices.healthhub.sg/Covid/Records) to access the results.

*Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, Passholders (Employment Pass, EntrePass, S-Pass, Dependent Pass, Long Term Visit Pass Plus), and selected Work Permit Holders are eligible for SingPass. Please refer to this link for SingPass instructions: https://www.singpass.gov.sg/singpass/register/instructions

 

I heard that people who are served a Quarantine Order (QO) will receive $100 a day under the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA). Is that true?

A:

The Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) is set up to mitigate financial impact for those who have been served Quarantine Orders (QO). When they have completed their QO, claims of $100 per day can be made by self-employed Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, and by Singapore-registered companies whose employees under QO are Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents or Workpass Holders.

This allowance will not apply if the affected S Pass or Work Permit holders began their QO on or after 1 April 2020, regardless of when the QO ends. This is in view of the levy rebate and waiver of March 2020’s levies (payable in April 2020).

Please refer to this factsheet for more information. You can also approach your QO agent for further queries.

 

I am an employer.  How do I know if my employees have been issued a Quarantine Order (QO)?  How do I apply for the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA)?

A:

A Quarantine Order (QO) agent will get in touch with your employee if he/she has been issued a QO.  Your employee should notify you that he/she has been issued a QO. 

You can only apply for the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) after your employee has completed the quarantine. The person under quarantine will receive the QOA form at the end of the quarantine and pass it to the employer.  This is to ensure that he/she has fully compiled with the QO, under the Infectious Disease Act. The employer can then submit the form to MOH for processing.  

Please refer to this factsheet for more information.

 

If I am unemployed, but under a Quarantine Order (QO), who can I go to for social and financial assistance?

A:

If you are unemployed, but under a Quarantine Order (QO), and need social or financial assistance, please contact your QO agent for further assistance.

 

What must I do when I am on a Leave of Absence (LOA)?

A: 

If you are placed on a Leave of Absence (LOA), you should remain in your place of residence, avoid social contact, and monitor your health closely. You should avoid crowded places and refrain from attending social or public gatherings. You should monitor your health closely and seek medical attention promptly if you feel unwell.

It is not necessary for members in the same household to be segregated from the person placed on LOA, but they are encouraged to reduce interaction and minimise contact with persons placed on LOA.


[New] I received an SMS saying that a household member is under quarantine, and giving me further instructions. Why am I receiving such an SMS?
 A:MOH is sending SMSes to household contacts of Persons Under Quarantine, please note it does not request any personal information you.
 
This SMS is to inform you that you were identified as a household member of a person under quarantine (PUQ). This is to allow you to take measures to protect yourself and your family members should the PUQ test positive. Household contacts are particularly at risk of infection given the prolonged and close interactions in the home setting.  
 
We strongly encourage you to limit interactions with others outside your household until your
household member swab test results are negative or he/she is no longer under quarantine. Please see a doctor promptly if you are unwell or have any respiratory symptoms and inform the doctor that your household member is under quarantine.
[New] Does this mean I am being put under a legal order such as a Quarantine Order?
A;No, it does not. This SMS is a health advisory. If you are under a legally mandated movement restriction, such as a Quarantine Order (QO), Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or 5-day MC,  you would have been informed of this seperately. Please continue to follow those conditions as they would take precedence over this health advisory.

 [New] Would this message also apply to my other household members if they did not receive the SMS?
 A:

Yes, this message would also apply to your other household members, and they should take the necessary precautionary actions as advised to you in the SMS notification. If you are a parent, this would apply to children living in the same household.

 [New] How will I know the the PUQ household member’s COVID-19 test result?
 A:PUQs will be informed of their COVID-19 PCR test result by SMS.  Alternatively they can check their HealthHub account if they have one.

 [New] What happens when my household member (PUQ) COVID-19 test result is negative or his/her quarantine order is rescinded?
A:You may return to your normal activities once your household member (PUQ) COVID-19 PCR test result is negative. If you are under another legally mandated movement restriction, such as a Quarantine Order (QO), Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or 5-day MC,  you would have been informed of this seperately and you should follow the conditions specified.

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