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Updated 21 Sep 2021

General Questions on Quarantine Order (QO)

 

What is a Quarantine Order (QO)?

A:

A Quarantine Order (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 is a contact of a person confirmed to have an infectious disease. This is done 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.

 

Why am I under quarantine? How was I identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case?

A:

You are under quarantine as you were identified through contact tracing as a close contact of a COVID-19 case. Going by MOH’s prevailing definition of a “close contact”, this means that you were in close proximity to a COVID case during his/her infectious period for a significant period of time.


 Who is the COVID-19 case? When and where was I in close proximity to him/her?
 A:Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to disclose the identity of the COVID case. However, the time and date of exposure indicated on the Quarantine Order SMS which was sent to your mobile phone will give you an indication of the place you were at.
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Why are there different formats of Quarantine Order (QO), i.e. electronic Quarantine Order (eQO), physical QO, etc.?

A:

A Quarantine Order (QO) may be served electronically by SMS (eQO) to individuals with a valid local mobile number. Minors and individuals without a valid local mobile number will be served physical QOs.


 What must I do when I am being quarantined? How will it affect my household members?
A: 
If you have been placed on quarantine, please return to your place of residence immediately and isolate yourself from the rest of your household. MOH will contact you with further details and arrangements for your quarantine.

You are required to declare your status and register to be quarantined through an online portal if you are a household member of a confirmed COVID-19 case. This portal, which facilitates the quarantining process, will require the entry of information such as the last date of exposure with the COVID-19 patient and a contact number which can be used to reach you for further instructions. You will then be contacted by an MOH-appointed agent within 48 hours upon successful registration to guide you on the actions to be taken next.

You should inform your household and workplace close contacts to stay at home and avoid contact with others until your PCR test result at entry into quarantine is negative or if you are no longer under quarantine.

For family/household members who are caregivers to a person under quarantine (PUQ), or family/household members receiving care from a PUQ, you are required to sign a Stay Order. You will not be allowed to leave the house.

Validation

 

[Updated 13 Sep] I received a SMS stating that I am under an Electronic Quarantine Order. Is this legitimate?

A 

If you have cause to doubt the authenticity of the SMS message you have received, you can verify your QO status by contacting the QO Agent, Certis at 6380 5072 or call MOH’s general hotline at 1800-333-9999.

 

I have received a call from MOH/Certis saying that they are contacting me for quarantine purpose. How do I verify if that is true?

 A

You may wish to:
a. Write down the telephone number.
b. Call MOH’s general hotline at 1800-333-9999 to verify if it is legitimate.

Please note that MOH will not ask for your financial details when conducting contact tracing or divulge any details of confirmed cases. We will also not ask you to collect documents from MOH, unless you have existing business with MOH.

Need for Quarantine

 

I have already been vaccinated (either received the 1st dose only or both 1st and 2nd doses). Why do I still need to be quarantined?

 A

The efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines have been shown to about 95% in preventing symptomatic and severe disease. This means that some vaccinated persons may still be vulnerable to infection and there is some protection against onward transmission, even if it is not 100%.

We continue to monitor the emerging data on the extent to which vaccination will reduce onward transmission of infection.

 I have been informed by MOH that I was in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.  However, I don't think I have been to the location or know anyone who is a COVID-19 case. 
 AYou can appeal against your Quarantine Order (QO) by contacting the QO Agent, Certis at 6380 5072.  You would need to provide documentation as evidence to support your appeal.  Please note that approval is granted on a case-by-case basis and your QO will be in effect while MOH processes the appeal.  The QO will be in effect unless and until it is rescinded.  
 I was previously infected with COVID, would I still need to be quarantined? 
AYou may appeal against your Quarantine Order (QO) if you were previously a COVID-19 case, or had a serology test done - with a positive results - less than 3 months ago, by contacting the QO agent, Certis at 6380 5072.  You would need to provide documentation as evidence to support your appeal.  Please note that approval is granted on a case-by-case basis and your QO will be in effect while MOH processes the appeal.  The QO will be in effect unless and until it is rescinded.  
 [New] I heard there is a new requirement for self-quarantine of household contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case.  What is this all about? 
An SMS will be sent to all confirmed COVID-19 cases to inform all household contacts who stay at the same place of residence that they are obliged under the Infectious Disease Act to register themselves as Persons under Quarantine (PUQs).  Individuals who are household contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case will be required to declare their status and register to be quarantined through an online portal.  This portal, which facilitates the quarantining process, will require the entry of information such as the last date of exposure with the COVID-19 patient and a contact number which can be used to reach them for further instructions.  PUQs will then be contacted by an MOH-appointed agent within 48 hours upon successful registration to guide them on the actions to be taken.  An electronic Quarantine Order (eQO) will be sent to successful registrants to indicate the quarantine period and instructions for self-booking of PCR tests.  PUQs will also take personal responsibility for conducting their entry and exit PCR swab tests at Regional Swab Centres (RSCs) near their homes.  PUQs will also collect ART kits at the RSCs, self-administer their ART daily and upload their results.  Should they feel unwell or in need of medical attention, PUQs can access 24/7 telemedicine services during their quarantine periods.  

What to Do Next

 [Updated 13 Sep] I have been informed by MOH that I was in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. What should I do?
A 

If you have been informed by MOH that you had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and will be placed on quarantine, please return to your place of residence immediately and isolate yourself from the rest of your household. MOH will contact you with further details and arrangements for your quarantine.

You are required to declare your status and register to be quarantined through an online portal if you are a household contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.  This portal, which facilitates the quarantining process, will require the entry of information such as the last date of exposure with the COVID-19 patient and a contact number which can be used to reach you for further instructions.  You will then be contacted by an MOH-appointed agent within 48 hours upon successful registration to guide you on the action to be taken next. 

 I received an SMS QO notice but have not received any other instructions from MOH. What should I do?
A 

The QO Agent, Certis will make a call (also known as the Pre-call) to you to verify details and provide further information to you. If you have questions, you may contact Certis at 6380 5072.

 When will I receive a Pre-call from the QO Agent? What if I don’t receive a Pre-call?
A  The QO Agent, Certis will make a call (Pre-call) to you to verify details and provide further information to you, usually after you have received an eQO via SMS. If you do not receive the call, you may contact Certis at 6380 5072.

 How long will it take for me to be conveyed to a quarantine facility for quarantine?
The QO Agent, Certis will typically call you within a day to inform you of the time for conveyance to a quarantine facility after you have received an eQO via SMS. If you do not receive the call, you may contact Certis at 6380 5072.

 Can I request or appeal to quarantine at home or at a quarantine facility?
AIf you wish to be quarantined at home or at a quarantine facility, contrary to what has been arranged for you, you may make a request to the QO Agent, Certis at 6380 5072. Please note that the final decision on your quarantine location, based on various factors and circumstances of your quarantine, lies with MOH.

 Why are the policies on quarantine from MOH different from other agencies like MOE and MOM?
AMOH is the ministry in charge of quarantine operations for mitigating public health risks arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, and is working closely with other agencies, including MOM and MOE on COVID-19 related matters. Hence, there should not be deviations on COVID-19 quarantine policies. However, ministries like MOE and MOM may have more stringent policies on quarantine as part of their enhanced safety considerations for their respective segments of the populations like students, employees and employers. 

Employment and Financial Matters

 I am employed. Does being quarantined 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.

 I need to inform my employer/school about my quarantine. I would like to request for a copy of my quarantine order.
A 

If you have received an electronic Quarantine Order (eQO) via SMS, you can show or forward it to your employer/school. If not, you would receive a physical QO from the QO Agent, and you can show it to your employer/school.

 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?
 AThe 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 without any breaches, claims of $100 per day can be made by self-employed Singapore Citizens/Permanent Residents, and by Singapore-registered companies whose employees under QO are Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents or Workpass Holders.

With effect from 1st July 2021, approved caregivers of a Person Under Quarantine (PUQ) can also apply for the QOA, subject to the same eligibility requirements , i.e. applications can be submitted by a self-employed Singapore Citizens/Permanent Residents, or by Singapore-registered companies whose employees are Singaporean Citizens, Permanent Residents or Workpass Holders.

The Quarantine Order 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 ended. This is in view of the levy rebate and waiver of levies. Foreign domestic workers are also not eligible for this scheme.

Please refer here 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 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 should pass it to his/her employer.  This is to ensure that he/she has fully complied with the QO, under the Infectious Disease Act. As the employer, you can then submit the form to MOH for processing. Please refer to this factsheet for more information.

 If I am unemployed and quarantined, who can I go to for social and financial assistance?
AIf you are unemployed and quarantined, and you need social or financial assistance, please contact the Quarantine Order (QO) Agent for further assistance.

Attending to Other Matters While Quarantined

 If I need to go out to attend to urgent matters, what should I do?  What will happen if I break quarantine?
 A
As a person under quarantine, you must not leave your designated quarantine location for any reason. If you require assistance for daily needs, you should arrange with your relatives / friends to purchase groceries and assist with your daily needs where necessary. If you urgently need to leave your place of isolation / home for matters requiring personal attention which cannot be postponed, you must first seek the permission of the Quarantine Order (QO) Agent.

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

 What if I’m quarantined but need to go for my vaccination appointment?
A 
To minimise public health risk, please do not go for your vaccination when you are under quarantine. Spot checks will be carried out to ensure that you strictly adhere to the conditions under the Quarantine Order (QO) during the period specified. Please note that it is an offence if you do not comply with the conditions listed in your QO.
If your vaccination appointment was made through:
a. National Appointment System (NAS): Please fill up the FORMSG to reschedule your vaccination appointment. It can be as early as the last date of your QO provided that your exit swab test result is negative.
b. Your Organisation/Company: Please make arrangements with your organisation/company to re-schedule the vaccination. It can be as early as the last date of your QO provided that your exit swab test result is negative.
If you still have any other queries or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact the MOH COVID-19 Hotline at 1800-333-9999.

Home Quarantine

Please click here for more information for Persons under Quarantine on Home Quarantine Order

 [Updated 13 Sep] How am I being monitored when I’m quarantined at home?
A 
Spot checks will be carried out to ensure that you strictly adhere to the conditions under the Quarantine Order (QO) during the period specified.  If you are found to be non-compliant, the Director of Medical Services may require you to wear an electronic tag or order that you be detained and isolated in a hospital or in any other suitable place. It is an offence if you do not comply with the conditions listed in accordance with the QO.  

Swab Tests

 [Updated 21 Sep] Why do I need a swab test? Is it mandatory?
 A
All Persons Under Quarantine (PUQs) will be tested for COVID-19 during their Quarantine Order (QO) period. Typically, there will be 2 PCR tests: (i) an entry PCR swab test will be scheduled at the start of QO period for early detection of possible infection, and (ii) an exit PCR swab test will be scheduled before the QO ends to prevent potential transmission should you be infected.  In addition, all PUQs are required to self-administer daily ART swab test during their quarantine period, as well as 4 days after quarantine period has ended.  The swab tests are mandatory under the Infectious Diseases Act (IDA) to ensure that these persons do not pose any public health risks before re-entering the community. 

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 SHN period respectively. 

The swab tests are mandatory under the Infectious Diseases Act (IDA) to ensure that these persons do not pose any public health risks before re-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 swab tested?
ASwab tests for PUQs at quarantine facilities are conducted on-site or strictly by appointment at designated testing sites and two-way conveyance to a designated testing site will be arranged for you. If you are serving home quarantine, you will travel by yourself to a regional swab centre for swab tests. If you are unable to do so, arrangements will be made for you to be swabbed at home.

 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.  If you have a Singpass account*, you may login to the HealthHub page (https://eservices.healthhub.sg/Covid/Records) to view 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

Quarantine Duration

 [Updated 13 Sep] How is the quarantine end date calculated?
 You will be quarantined for 10 days from the last date of exposure to a COVID-19 case. This is based on the incubation period of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

 I know of individuals who serve shorter duration of quarantine than me. Why is this so?
The quarantine end date is calculated based on the individual’s last date of exposure to a COVID-19 case.

 I have been informed that my quarantine has been extended and I would like to get a confirmation.
APlease call the QO Agent, Certis hotline 6380 5072 to obtain a confirmation of your quarantine extension.

 Why is my quarantine extended? Is it possible that I would be able to end my quarantine earlier?
AYour quarantine may be extended because you have been identified as a close contact of another confirmed COVID-19 case, or if you have not received a negative result for your exit swab test by the last day of your quarantine.

 I have received an SMS on rescindment of Quarantine Order and I would like to confirm if this is true.
 APlease call the QO Agent, Certis hotline at 6380 5072 to obtain a confirmation of your QO rescindment.

 I tested negative on my quarantine entry swab. Can my quarantine be rescinded?

A

A negative entry swab test result does not rule out the absence of COVID. As such, you will still be required to serve the entire duration of your quarantine period.

The 10 days of isolation are necessary as it is the duration of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus incubation, and there may be a delayed onset of symptoms at any point during this period.

 [Updated 13 Sep] I was quarantined as I was identified to be a close contact of a positive case. The positive case has since recovered. Does this mean that my quarantine can be rescinded?
Your quarantine status is independent of the recovery of the positive case. The duration of your quarantine is determined based on 14 days from your last date of exposure/contact with the positive case. This is because the incubation period of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is 10 days and you might not yet display the signs/symptoms of an infection.

 [Updated 13 Sep] My quarantine is due to end. When am I allowed to leave?
As stated on the electronic Quarantine Order (eQO) or physical QO you received, you may leave the quarantine facility or exit from your home quarantine when you receive a rescindment SMS message from MOH. Following rescindment, you will need to continue administering your own Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) and uploading your test results daily from Day 11 to Day 14 after the end of your 10-day quarantine period. 


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