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General advisory for workplaces and frontline workers in response to confirmed cases of local transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Singapore

Updated as of 4 February 2020

  1. On 4 February 2020, MOH confirmed the first human-to-human transmission cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Singapore.
  2. While there is as yet no evidence of widespread community transmission in Singapore, MTI, MOM, NTUC and SNEF would like to advise employers and employees to take additional precautionary measures as they continue their business operations.

    General precautions for employers and employees
  3. With the onset of the COVID-19 cases in Singapore, MTI, MOM, NTUC and SNEF have worked together to put in place measures for workplaces:
    1. Precautionary measures such as obtaining a health and travel declaration from their employees on whether they have travelled to mainland China recently, or if they have any upcoming travel plans to mainland China.
    2. Complying with Leave of Absence (LOA) – Employees with recent travel history to mainland China will be required to go on a 14-day LOA, under which they have to stay at home and avoid social contact. Employers and employees must ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA. MOM may take action against the employer or employee if they do not discharge their responsibility.
  4. Given the latest situation, employers and employees should adopt the following additional precautions, particularly for businesses which have frontline workers serving customers:

    Step up cleaning of workplace premises
    1. More frequent cleaning of areas with high human contact, such as counters where customers are served and rooms where visitors are hosted.
    2. More frequent cleaning of general public access areas such as lifts, pantries, toilets, and bin areas.
    3. Adopt the sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environmental Agency (NEA). NEA has also developed and released interim guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting areas exposed to confirmed cases of COVID-19, and provided a list of companies that can carry out disinfection works. These advisories have been disseminated to hotels, public and private transport operators, and F&B outlets, including hawker centres.

    Serving customers who are unwell or have flu-like symptoms
    1. Employers should establish clear guidance to frontline staff on how to handle customers who are unwell. For example, frontline workers can advise customers who are visibly unwell to go see a doctor immediately. Customers could also be asked to reschedule their appointments, or be served via alternate means1.
    2. If it is necessary to provide urgent services to customers who are unwell, employers should also establish proper procedures to safeguard staff and other customers. For example, having frontline workers wear a surgical mask, and serving these customers separate from other customers.

    Precautionary measures that workers can take
    Employees also play an important role, and should take precautionary measures at the workplace:
    1. Observing good personal hygiene, such as monitoring their temperature regularly and washing hands frequently with soap.
    2. Avoiding contact with people who are unwell .
    3. Consulting a doctor promptly if unwell with fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath. Employees who are unwell should stay away from the workplace, and wear a mask if they are in a public area such as on the way to the clinic, so that they do not spread infection to others. Employees who are well do not need to wear a mask.
  5. Employers and employees are strongly urged to exercise necessary precautions at the workplace to prevent spread of COVID-19. Please refer to the latest advisories put out by MOH and other public agencies.
  6. For further queries, please contact:

    Ministry of Manpower
    MOM Contact Centre (65) 6438 5122
    Online enquiry
    www.mom.gov.sg

    Ministry of Health
    MOH General Hotline (65) 6325 9220
    Online enquiry
    www.moh.gov.sg

FOOTNOTE

  1. Such as tele-conferencing.

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