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Vaccination checks to be expanded from Feb 1 to all indoor sports facilities, institutes of higher learning, hotels

SINGAPORE — From Feb 1 next year, all indoor sports facilities, institutes of higher learning as well as hotels, hostels and serviced apartments will be included in places that will roll out vaccine-related infection controls, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Dec 14).

From the start of 2022, those who have recovered from Covid-19 and are not fully vaccinated will only be given a 180-day exemption after infection to enter settings where there are checks on vaccination status.

From the start of 2022, those who have recovered from Covid-19 and are not fully vaccinated will only be given a 180-day exemption after infection to enter settings where there are checks on vaccination status.

SINGAPORE — From Feb 1 next year, all indoor sports facilities, institutes of higher learning as well as hotels, hostels and serviced apartments will be included in places that will roll out vaccine-related infection controls, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Dec 14).

In a media release, MOH added that all events, irrespective of size, must also have these controls in place before they can proceed.

This will be a change from the rule now where only events with more than 50 attendees must have such measures.

MOH said that even smaller-sized events "can spark transmission that can then spread to wider groups of people, especially in view of the Omicron variant".

"That said, to minimise disruption to events that are already planned, we will remove the existing concession only in end-January 2022.” 

Students in institutes of higher learning who are completing their full-time National ITE Certificate (Nitec) or Higher Nitec, diploma or degree programmes will be exempted from the new rules when entering their respective campuses. More details will be released by the relevant government agencies, MOH said.

 

EXEMPTION PERIOD SHORTENED FOR RECOVERED PATIENTS

 

In another announcement, the ministry said that those who have recovered from Covid-19 after Jan 1 next year but are not fully vaccinated will only be given a 180-day exemption after infection to enter settings where vaccine-related controls are required.

This is reduced from the exemption period of 270 days allowed now, which is calculated starting from the day of the first positive Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test obtained in Singapore.

“The adjustment is made due to concerns over the transmissibility and heightened reinfection risk of the Omicron variant, and quicker waning of protection acquired through past infections," MOH said.

"These recovered persons who are not fully vaccinated should seek to complete their primary series vaccination regime promptly.”

For people who have recovered from Covid-19 before Jan 1 and are not fully vaccinated, meaning taken two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, they will also have their exemption period reduced from 270 days to 180 days.

However, those who exceed the 180-day period as at Jan 1 will be granted an extra one-month grace period until Jan 31 to complete their primary series vaccination regime, so as to continue being able to enter such settings.

Recovered patients need only one dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or two doses of Sinovac, under the national vaccination programme to complete their primary series vaccination regime.

They should therefore do so latest by Jan 17 next year to allow an interval of 14 days from the completion of the jabs to be considered fully vaccinated.

During the grace period from the date when they have exceeded the 180-day period, these individuals can produce their discharge memo for entry into settings with vaccination checks.

The announcement on the expanded infection controls based on vaccination status follows an earlier move where all libraries under the National Library Board and selected activities in community clubs and centres under the People's Association also adopted such measures.

MOH also said on Tuesday that it had earlier rolled out these measures along with test pilots in sports settings, selected mass sporting events as well as events classified under meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.

Under these pilots, participants will be allowed to take part as long as they have a valid antigen rapid test result on-site before the activity.

"These pilots have been successful thus far, given strong compliance and enforcement on the ground, and we will continue to expand these pilots where feasible," MOH added.

Related topics

Covid-19 vaccination coronavirus vaccine events MOH

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