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Advisory to foreign domestic workers (FDWs), employers and employment agencies on COVID-19 precautionary measures

Updated as of 9 July 2020

As we resume activities in phases post-Circuit Breaker, find out what are the current work pass requirements.

Employers and employment agencies should educate FDWs on the COVID-19 situation and the following precautionary measures:

How to bring FDWs into Singapore

To bring an FDW from overseas into Singapore, you must:

  1. Ensure you can fulfil the additional responsibilities to bring her in. This includes paying for her COVID-19 test and 14-day stay at the dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facility, if applicable.
  2. Ensure she fully understands and agrees to comply with the terms of the SHN.
  3. Secure a suitable place of residence for her to serve SHN, unless she is required to serve SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.
  4. Ensure she has a Singapore mobile number. Her phone must have internet connection and WhatsApp installed.
  5. Request for MOM’s entry approval before she can enter Singapore. Check when to submit your request or use our entry approval calculator.

    For employers Request for entry approval
    For employment agencies Request for entry approval
  6. Wait for MOM’s approval before confirming the flight and arranging for her to start her journey to Singapore.

    New FDWs must complete their 14-day SHN before you can get their Work Permits issued. To give you time for this, we will automatically extend their Short-Term Visit Passes and in-principle approvals by 2 weeks.

When to apply for MOM’s entry approval

Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request.

Requests received from 12:01pm today to 12pm tomorrow are for arrivals within 30 days after tomorrow.

If your FDW is arriving in Singapore on 1 August 2020, you can submit the entry approval request from 12:01pm, 1 July 2020 to 12pm, 31 July 2020.

When you will get the entry approval outcome

If you submit your request Get outcome
By 12pm Today
After 12pm Tomorrow

Additional responsibilities for employer or employment agency that submits the entry approval request

SHN requirements for arrivals before 17 June 2020, 2359 hours

If the FDW entered Singapore before 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, she must serve SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.

Once she arrives, she will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility. The cost for the facility will be absorbed by the Government, except for FDWs who left Singapore from 27 March 2020 despite the prevailing travel advisory.

SHN requirements for arrivals from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours*

* FDWs granted entry approvals before MOH's announcement on 15 June 2020 may serve SHN at dedicated SHN facilities and if they left Singapore:

  • Before 27 March 2020, they will not be charged for their COVID-19 test and stay at dedicated SHN facilities.
  • From 27 March 2020, they will be charged for their COVID-19 test and stay at dedicated SHN facilities.

If the FDW enters Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, she will be subject to the new SHN requirements:

FDWs who spent the last 14 consecutive days in certain countries / regions

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Germany (applies to entry approvals granted from 25 June 2020)
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Mainland China
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

For FDWs who spent the last 14 consecutive days in any of the above countries / regions before entering Singapore, they must:

  1. Serve a 14-day SHN at a suitable place of residence.
    • New FDWs must serve SHN at hotels.
    • Existing FDWs returning from overseas can serve SHN at their employers’ houses or hotels.
    • They are not allowed to serve SHN in dormitories.
      Their SHN residence must fulfil the prevailing SHN advisory and guidelines. Check MOH’s website for the latest updates.
  2. Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over.
    • They will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test. 
    • The employer or employment agency that submitted their entry approval request must pay for the test (up to $200 including GST).

FDWs who didn’t spend 14 consecutive days in the countries / regions listed above

FDWs who did not spend the last 14 consecutive days in the countries / regions listed above must:

  1. Serve a 14-day SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.
    • Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility.
  2. Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over.
    • They will get an SMS to inform them when to take the test. 
    • The employer or employment agency that submitted their entry approval request must pay for the following:
      • 14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility ($1,500 including GST)
      • COVID-19 test (up to $200 including GST)

For more details, please refer to MOH’s press release or contact the SHN helpline at 6812 5555.

Your responsibilities after the FDW enters Singapore

After the FDW enters Singapore, you must:

  • Ensure she complies with the mandatory 14-day SHN upon arrival in Singapore.
  • Send her from the airport (or any other place of disembarkation) directly to her SHN residence upon arrival, unless she is required to serve SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.
  • Pay for her COVID-19 test and 14-day stay at the dedicated SHN facility, if applicable.
  • Ensure she has a Singapore mobile number. If her number has changed, you must update the number immediately.
  • Ensure she follows the instructions in the SMS, which she will get within 2 to 3 days of arrival, to download the Homer app.
  • Ensure she has a thermometer to take and report her temperature 3 times a day using the Homer app.
  • Arrange to provide her with food and other daily essentials during her SHN, unless she is required to serve SHN at a dedicated SHN facility.
  • Reschedule non-emergency medical needs (e.g. follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of prescription).
  • Ensure she goes for her COVID-19 test at the slot assigned to her.
  • Arrange for her to use a designated taxi to travel between her SHN residence and the testing facility. She must not take public transport.
  • Ensure she returns immediately after her test.

If employers are unable to fulfil the responsibilities

Employers who are unable to fulfil the responsibilities above can get employment agencies to help with the entry approval and SHN arrangements. In this case, the employment agency needs to fulfil the responsibilities above.

If no party is willing and able to fulfil the responsibilities, the FDW should not enter Singapore.

What FDWs must do during their 14-day SHN

FDWs must:

  • Not leave the SHN premises throughout the 14-day period.
  • Carry their mobile phones with internet connection at all times. They must respond to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour.
  • Report their locations and temperatures 3 times a day to MOM using the Homer mobile app.
  • Not have any visitors, and minimise contact with others.
  • Maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with.
  • Act responsibly based on any advisories issued by the Singapore Government.
  • Take a COVID-19 test before their SHN is over.

Penalties for non-compliance

Employers, employment agencies and FDWs have a collective duty to ensure the entry approval and SHN requirements are complied with.

Enforcement action, including revocation of work passes and suspension of work pass privileges, will be taken if the requirements are not complied with. Demerit points will also be imposed on employment agencies whose actions result in violation of the requirements by FDWs.

General precautions for employers and FDWs

MOM, Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) would like to share the following measures that employers and FDWs can adopt to protect themselves and their households.

Employers and FDWs are encouraged to practise good personal hygiene. FDWs can also help ensure that those under their care, including young children, practise good hygiene.

  1. Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the toilet;
  2. Cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of soiled tissue in the bin immediately;
  3. Avoid sharing food / drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others; and
  4. If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.
  5. Employers may wish to consider having everyone in the household, including the FDW, take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any respiratory symptoms. If the FDW is unwell, please allow adequate rest after seeing the doctor. If possible, employers should consider arrangements to minimise contact between your unwell FDW and those under her care.

Caring for the vulnerable

For FDWs required to care for young children, elderly or those with illnesses or special needs, we encourage employers and FDWs to discuss additional precautions to be adopted. These include:

FDW rest day arrangements

  • Monitoring the health of those under her care closely and to highlight immediately any symptoms; and
  • Conducting regular temperature screening for those under FDW’s care.
  • In view of the introduction of social distancing measures, we strongly encourage FDWs to spend their rest day at home during this period.
  • We recommend that employers discuss with their FDWs to reach a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements:
    • If FDWs agree to spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign work to their FDW on the rest day.
    • If FDWs agree to forgo their rest days, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
    • If FDWs have errands that they need to attend to on their rest day, they should be encouraged to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.
    • Employers should also encourage their FDWs to not gather in public areas should they be out.

Home leave

For FDWs who have plans to travel back home, we advise that employers and FDWs discuss and come to a mutual agreement for the FDWs to postpone home leave until the situation stabilises. Employers should inform FDWs that they would be subjected to the new SHN requirement upon return to Singapore if they travel back home.

We encourage employers and FDWs to maintain open communication with each other especially during this period. Visit MOH’s website at www.moh.gov.sg regularly to keep yourself updated on latest developments.

The advisory is available for download in the following languages: