In view of the COVID-19 situation, there is no need to visit MOM Services Centre for advisory and transaction services. If you have made an appointment with us, we will contact you instead. Our eServices, web chat and hotline remain available. We encourage customers to visit our website for the latest updates, including changes to our work pass services from 7 April to 4 May.
Skip to main content

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

Updated as of 25 March 2020

While the additional safe distancing measures are in place, there are changes to our services from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020.

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

    Actions to be taken by employers or employment agencies to bring FDWs into Singapore

  2. To reduce the risk of importing the COVID-19 virus, we are restricting the entry of foreigners into Singapore.

    All employers and employment agencies are strongly urged to defer bringing FDWs into Singapore. To facilitate this, we will automatically extend the validities of all in-principle approvals (IPAs) that are expiring soon by 2 months. You can check the new validities using our FDW eService.

    Employers are advised to hire FDWs who are already in Singapore or renew the Work Permits of existing FDWs, instead of hiring those from overseas.

    Do also note that upon arrival in Singapore, FDWs from overseas must serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). Thus, there could be significant delays before they can work.
  3. If you still wish to bring an FDW from overseas into Singapore, you may proceed with the following. However, please note that chances of getting an entry approval are very slim:
    1. Ensure you can fulfil the additional responsibilities to bring the FDW in.
    2. Request for MOM’s entry approval before the FDW can enter Singapore using the relevant links for: The party who submits the entry approval request is responsible for the following:
      • FDW’s housing for her to serve the 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and ensuring she has a Singapore mobile number. Her phone must also have internet connection and WhatsApp installed. This must be done before you submit the entry approval request, otherwise you will not be able to proceed.
      • Fulfilling the additional responsibilities to bring the FDW in.
      Applications open daily from 12:01pm and close at 12pm the next day.

      Requests received during this period are for arrivals within 14 days after the application closes (e.g. for arrivals in Singapore from 17 Mar 2020 to 30 Mar 2020, you can submit the request from 15 Mar 2020, 12:01pm to 16 Mar 2020, 12pm).

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

      Applications submitted:
      • By 12pm: Will receive the outcome on the same day.
      • After 12pm: Will receive the outcome the next day.
    3. Wait for MOM’s approval before arranging for the FDW to enter Singapore.

    For new FDWs, you need to wait for them to complete their 14-day SHN before you can get their Work Permits issued. To facilitate this, we will automatically extend the validities of their Short-Term Visit Pass and in-principle approval by 14 days, and notify employers when the extension is approved.

    Additional responsibilities for party who submits the entry approval request (employer or employment agency)

    Enhanced Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements for FDWs entering Singapore from the affected areas

    Affected areas Applies to arrivals in Singapore
    • The United Kingdom (UK)
    • The United States (US)
    From 25 March 2020, 23:59 hrs
    • ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam)
    • France
    • India
    • Switzerland
    From 5 April 2020, 23:59 hrs
  4. For FDWs who transited at or travelled from any of the affected areas and entered Singapore based on the arrival dates stated above, they must serve their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities. They cannot serve the SHN at another place.

    Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility. The cost for the facility will be absorbed by the Government.

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

    Please take note of your additional responsibilities before submitting the entry approval request.

    Before the FDW leaves for Singapore, you must:
    After the FDW enters Singapore, you must:
    • Ensure she complies with the mandatory 14-day SHN upon arrival in Singapore.
    • Arrange to send her from the airport or any other place of disembarkation directly to her place of residence to serve her 14-day SHN upon arrival in Singapore, unless she is entering Singapore from an affected area and serving SHN at a dedicated facility.
    • Ensure the mobile phone prepared is given to her. If her number has changed, please update it immediately.
    • Arrange to provide her with food and other daily essentials during the SHN period, unless she is entering Singapore from an affected area and serving SHN at a dedicated facility, as she is not allowed to leave her place of residence.
    • Reschedule non-emergency medical needs (e.g. follow-up visits for chronic conditions or refilling of prescription) so that she does not need to leave her place of residence during the SHN.

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

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

    What FDWs must do during their 14-day SHN

  5. FDWs must:
    • Not leave their place of residence throughout the 14-day SHN.
    • 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.
    • Not have any visitors to their place of residence and must 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.

    Penalties for non-compliance

  6. Employers, employment agencies and FDWs have a collective duty to ensure that 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

  7. 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.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the toilet;
    • Cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of soiled tissue in the bin immediately;
    • Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others; and
    • If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.
  8. 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

  9. 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:
    • 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.

    FDW rest day arrangements

  10. In view of the introduction of social distancing measures, we strongly encourage FDWs to spend their rest day at home during this period.
  11. We recommend that employers discuss with their FDWs to reach a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements
    1. If FDWs agree to spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign work to their FDW on the rest day.
    2. If FDWs agree to forgo their rest days, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
    3. 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.
    4. Employers should also encourage their FDWs to not gather in public areas should they be out.

    Home leave

  12. 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.
  13. We encourage employers and FDWs to maintain open communication with each other especially during this period. Visit MOH’s website at regularly to keep yourself updated on latest developments.

The advisory is available for download in the following languages:

Related questions