General advisory for workplaces and frontline workers in response to confirmed cases of local transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore
Updated as of 20 March 2020
- On 4 February 2020, MOH confirmed the first human-to-human transmission cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Singapore.
- 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
- 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:
- Precautionary measures such as obtaining a health and travel declaration from their employees on whether they have travelled to overseas recently, or if they have any upcoming overseas travel plans. Employees are also advised to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect.
- Complying with Stay-Home Notice (SHN) – All employees (Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Long-Term Pass Holders) arriving in Singapore after 20 March 2020, 2359 hours will be required to go on a 14-day SHN1. Employees on SHN must stay at home and avoid social contact. Employers and employees must ensure that employees behave responsibly during the SHN period. MOM may take action against the employer and/or employee if they do not discharge their responsibility.
- 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
- More frequent cleaning of areas with high human contact, such as counters where customers are served and rooms where visitors are hosted.
- More frequent cleaning of general public access areas such as lifts, pantries, toilets, and bin areas.
- 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
- 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 see a doctor. Customers should also be asked to reschedule their appointments, or be served via alternate means2.
- 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:
- Observing good personal hygiene, such as monitoring their temperature regularly and washing hands frequently with soap.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.
- Consulting a doctor promptly if unwell or suffering from respiratory symptoms. Employees who are unwell should use their paid sick leave to stay at home, and wear a mask so that they do not spread infection to others. Employees who are well do not need to wear a mask.
- 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.
- For further queries, please contact:
Ministry of Manpower
Ministry of Health
MOH Emergency Line 1800 333 9999
- For employees who arrived in Singapore before 20 March 2020, 2359 hours, the application of the mandatory SHN requirements is dependent on the country or area where the employee had travelled to. Refer to MOH and MOM websites for more details on the respective dates for each affected area.
- Such as tele-conferencing.