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16 Aug 2021

16th Aug 2021

To protect hospital patients from COVID-19 infection, a vaccination-differentiated visitation approach for hospital wards will be implemented at all hospitals from 19 August 2021 to further reduce importation risk of COVID-19 into our hospitals. This would also help to safeguard hospital capacity as Singapore transitions into a COVID-19 resilient nation. The measures complement existing measures, namely routine testing for hospital staff and admitted patients, which had been implemented from May 2021, and the Vaccinate or Regular Test regime for hospital staff which will come into effect from 1 October 2021.

2. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 clusters in the hospitals, the current visitation duration of 30 minutes will be maintained for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Each patient can register up to two visitors for each admission. Each patient can receive up to two visits per day and only one visitor is allowed at the bedside. Patients who are very ill will be allowed five registered visitors for each admission, with two visitors allowed at the bedside each time. Exception will be given to visitors of the following patient groups to extend their visit beyond 30 minutes1, on a conditional, case-by-case basis, as assessed by the hospital:

a. Paediatric patients;
b. Birthing/post-partum mothers; and
c. Patients requiring additional care support from care givers.  For example, assistance of inpatients who have mental incapacities, visitors involved in caregiver training, etc.

3. Fully vaccinated2 visitors as well as persons who have recovered from COVID-19 and have a valid Pre-Event Test (PET) exemption notice3 will be able to enter the hospital wards without the need for a pre-visit COVID-19 test from 19 August 2021. Vaccinated visitors will be required to show their vaccination status on HealthHub or the TraceTogether app as proof of vaccination. Screenshots will not be allowed.

4. Partially vaccinated individuals have not attained sufficient immune protection from COVID-19 vaccination and will be at risk for being infected, or may infect hospital patients when they visit their loved ones. From 1 October 2021, they will be required to show a negative pre-visit COVID-19 test result before being allowed to visit the hospital wards. Between now and 30 September 2021, they will be temporarily exempted from the testing requirement. 

5. Unvaccinated visitors should ensure they obtain a self-paid pre-visit COVID-19 test prior to visiting the hospital wards. They will not be allowed to enter hospital wards unless they can show a valid negative antigen rapid test (ART) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result obtained within the last 24 hours of the visit, as administered or supervised by Ministry of Health (MOH)-approved COVID-19 test providers4 (including employer directed tests performed at the Quick Test Centres).

6. Pre-visit COVID-19 testing can be done at any MOH-approved ART provider5.  From 1 September 2021, hospitals may also assist unvaccinated visitors to make advanced testing arrangement for pre-visit test at the Quick Test Centres (QTCs). The date and time of the appointment slot will be dependent on the daily availability of slots at the respective QTCs. Visitors will need to pay for the pre-visit tests.

7. Visitors who are unwell or symptomatic should not visit patients in hospital wards, regardless of their vaccination status.

8. Under exceptional and time-sensitive situations, such as visiting patients with sudden life-threatening conditions, unexpected child birth/delivery, individuals or elderly with severe physical limitations which restrict their access to pre-visit testing providers, hospitals may exercise discretion to assist unvaccinated visitors with ART testing on a case-by-case basis.

9. MOH will calibrate the visitor management measures regularly and we seek the understanding of all visitors, as the measures will protect the patients and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our hospitals.

[1] Visitors who are allowed to extend their visit beyond 30 minutes will be required to obtain a valid negative COVID-19 test result regardless of their vaccination status.

[2] An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/ Comirnaty, Moderna, Sinovac (if contraindicated for the PSAR vaccines) or WHO EUL vaccines. Unvaccinated individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 270 days will also be exempted from pre-visit test.

[3] Recovered individuals (within last 270 days) can obtain a PET Exemption Notice from any clinic offering ART or PCR testing services.

[4] Negative results obtained from self-administered ART test and self-administered ART test performed under supervision by parties other than MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers are not recognised for pre-visit testing.

[5] Please refer to go.gov.sg/swabproviders for the updated list of MOH-approved providers. Visitors should contact the clinic to confirm that they provide self-paid ART tests before visiting the clinic.