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CIRCULAR ON APPLICATIONS FOR THE “CONNECT@SINGAPORE” PILOT

1.     As Singapore progressively reopens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTF has established safe travel arrangements with some countries or regions to facilitate travel, while safeguarding public health. The MTF will continue to ease Singapore’s border controls to revive our tourism and Changi Airport’s air hub – by unilaterally or bilaterally easing restrictions for travellers coming in from countries or regions where the virus has been brought under control, and establishing safe travel bubbles.

2.     From 15 December 2020, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will start accepting applications for facilities to participate in a pilot to trial different modes of travel, including the requirement for travellers to be subjected to more frequent testing in lieu of stay home notices, while ensuring continued adherence to prevailing safe management measures. For the entire duration of their stay in Singapore, travellers under this initiative will be housed in a “bubble” within dedicated facilities. Appointed facilities will be allowed to take in travellers granted entry approval by the Safe Travel Office of Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA) under the “Connect@Singapore” initiative.

PILOT FOR MORE FREQUENT TESTING TO REPLACE STAY-HOME-NOTICE FOR TRAVELLERS UNDER THIS INITIATIVE

3.     Travellers are subjected to a stringent testing regime, including a pre-departure COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) test to be taken within 72 hours of departure to Singapore; on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test at the airport; and post-arrival Antigen Rapid “Tests (ART) on days 3, 5, 7 and up to 11 of their stay where applicable.

4.     In summary, the appointed facilities under this initiative are responsible for taking all reasonable measures to –

4.1.   Ensure that every traveller self-isolates in the dedicated facility before negative on-arrival test (OAT) results are released to the traveller;

4.2.   Ensure that every traveller adheres to the post-arrival ART testing regime;

4.3.   Inform and remind every traveller of his/her obligations to adhere to the mandatory testing regime, SMM requirements and infection control measures, security and surveillance protocols; and

4.4.   Alert the relevant government agencies immediately in the event of any breach by the traveller.

Please refer to Annex A for the complete Conditions for the Appointed Facility under the Connect@Singapore Initiative that facilities must meet and comply with. 

SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION

5.     Facilities, hotels or hotels belonging to hotel groups with prior experience as Stay-Home-Notice Dedicated Facilities (“SDFs”) or Government Quarantine Facilities (“GQFs”) are preferred, as they have the relevant know-how and experience to manage travellers with strict infection control measures, testing requirements, security arrangements and trained manpower. Their track records in adhering to prevailing SMMs will also be taken into consideration.

6.     The detailed guidelines in this circular are to help interested facilities develop their proposals and implement the necessary plans and SMMs to take in these travellers. These plans will have to be tailored to the specific nature of operations in each facility, and potential risk factors arising from localised factors such as the facility’s physical premises and layout, environment, scale of the proposed facility, and typical guest behaviour.

7.      Each facility’s application (which includes its proposal) must demonstrate how the following key outcomes will be achieved:

Key Outcomes

1.     Facilitate entry application of traveller
 

2.     Ensure a safe and clean “bubble-wrapped” environment

a.     Provide separate check-in, access and dedicated floors/wings within the facility for travellers (where applicable)

b.     Implement rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimes, particularly for high touch elements as part of the testing regime

c.     Ensure the overall facility, travellers, staff as well as external visitors comply with infection control protocols, SMM requirements, sanitisation and hygiene measures of Singapore government agencies

d.     Prepare for any emergencies relating to COVID-19
 

3.     Ensure surveillance capabilities and security monitoring systems are in place to enforce SMMs and traveller’s compliance with testing regime, SMMs, and staying within the dedicated zone

a.     Provide end-to-end conveyance services to traveller, including but not limited to meet-and-greet upon arrival and escort to the immigration checkpoint on departure day

b.     Ensure that every traveller downloads, uses, and enables the Trace Together (“TT”) app (or collects a TT Token, if available) for SafeEntry check-in in all places within the appointed facility

c.     Ensure the traveller remains isolated in his/her guestroom until his/her OAT results are released and verified negative by the appointed facility

 

4.     Implement testing regime requirements

a.     Secure and maintain a partnership with a Ministry of Health (“MOH”) accredited private healthcare provider, and procure test kits and appropriately trained manpower to administer the COVID-19 tests (e.g. ART and PCR) for the traveller within the appointed facility

b.     Designate area(s) in the appointed facility for the healthcare provider to administer the COVID-19 tests in accordance with MOH’s guidelines

c.     Schedule the traveller’s ARTs upon his/her confirmation of travel itinerary and send timely reminders to the traveller for scheduled ARTs

d.     Track the traveller’s attendance of ARTs and have clear and comprehensive response plans in place, in the event of non-compliance or breaches by the traveller

e.     Timely report of non-compliance and breaches by the traveller to relevant authorities
               

5. Submit daily situation reports and/or data as required by the relevant Government authorities
 

 

8.     The application must also contain the applicant’s physical layout and security plans to address the testing requirements within the appointed facility, operational issues such as cleaning and sanitisation plans, and contingency response plans (to handle unwell guests or suspected/confirmed cases).

9.      Facilities must comply with the prevailing COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 (“Control Order”) in all applicable respects, including restrictions and conditions imposed by MTI in its permission. Please also refer to Annex B for the procedure, checklist, photographic requirements, and documentation needed for the application submission. Facilities’ applications (including their proposals) must adhere to the Control Order, as well as additional requirements also incorporated in Annexes A, B and C, in order to be considered for the pilot. While the conditions and requirements in these Annexes are generally in addition to requirements under the Control Order, the prevailing Control Order will take precedence in case of any inconsistency. Appointed facilities must also adhere to their applications even where they exceed the requirements of the Control Order or these Annexes.

10.    STB will process these applications from the date of this circular, and facilities can accept travellers as part of the pilot only after receiving approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”).

11.    Facilities must submit to an inspection scheduled and conducted by STB, MOH, and other Singapore government agencies (where necessary) as part of the assessment process.

12.    Interested facilities must submit applications through STB for MOH assessment and MTI approval via https://go.gov.sg/dhsfapplication no later than 7 January 2021.

ENFORCEMENT OF MEASURES

13.    STB will conduct audit and enforcement checks on appointed facilities to ensure compliance with SMMs and MTI’s conditions, including the testing regime. Enforcement action will be taken against appointed facilities who are not compliant or take in travellers without approval.

14.    Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on 7 April 2020, first-time offenders who contravene SMMs or MTI conditions may be fined up to $10,000, imprisoned up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $20,000, imprisoned up to twelve months, or both. Also under the Act, businesses that are not compliant may be ordered to cease business activities or close altogether. Businesses that do not comply may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance, and may be barred from participation in the “Connect@Singapore” initiative and future pilots.

15.    For non-compliant travellers who miss their ARTs or do not stay isolated until OAT results are out, they may be prosecuted under the Infectious Disease Act (IDA) and/or under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. Appointed facilities will flag non-compliant cases to ICA for necessary enforcement action to be carried out, i.e. revocation of visit pass and serve SHN+ to travellers pending repatriation. For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, they may be fined and/or jailed under the IDA/ COVID-19 – Stay Orders.

 

Annex A – Conditions for the Appointed Facility under the Connect@Singapore Initiative

Annex B – Checklist to assist facilities in developing their proposal and plans to meet the pilot conditions 

 

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 16 December 2020