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Enterprise Singapore
29 Jan 2020 Updated 27 Feb 2020

Advisory on COVID-19 for businesses

Date Title
25 Feb 2020 Entry Approval Requirement for Employers with Work Pass Holders with Travel History to Daegu City and Cheongdo County
25 Feb 2020 Additional Precautionary Measures in Response to Escalating Situation in Daegu and Cheongdo
23 Feb 2020 Public Health Travel Advisory in Response to Cases of COVID-19 in Republic of Korea
19 Feb 2020 Call for Collaboration (“CFC”) for the Appointment of Assessment Organisations for “SG Clean Programme”
18 Feb 2020 Coping with COVID-19: Economic Measures for Companies and Workers
18 Feb 2020 General Advisory for Employers if a Confirmed or Suspect Case of COVID-19 is Detected at the Workplace
17 Feb 2020 Implementation of New Stay-Home Notice
16 Feb 2020 Press Release: “SG Clean” Campaign Launched to Rally Public and Businesses to Work Together to Keep Singapore Clean
15 Feb 2020 Advisory for Businesses on Large-Scale Events Amidst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
7 Feb 2020 New Requirements for Employers Who Have Work Pass Holders With Travel History to Mainland China
Entering or Returning to Singapore
7 Feb 2020 General Advisory for Workplace Measures in Response to DORSCON Orange Situation in Singapore by
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the
Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)
7 Feb 2020 Risk Assessment Raised to DORSCON Orange
2 Feb 2020 Frequently Asked Questions on the COVID-19
1 Feb 2020 Advisory on the COVID-19 for Businesses by the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI)


1. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has raised our risk assessment from DORSCON Yellow to DORSCON Orange. The Government is progressively strengthening our measures to reduce the risk of imported cases and community transmission.

2. We advise all businesses to take the appropriate precautionary measures in accordance with the latest advisories published by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Business Continuity Plans 1

3. All workplaces should step up their business continuity plans, and prepare for widespread community transmission. Enterprise Singapore (ESG), supported by the Singapore Business Federation, has enhanced the Business Continuity Guide for enterprises to develop your plans to deal with the COVID-19. The guide will serve as a general reference for enterprises in planning for COVID-19, and recommend actions enterprises may take at each alert code (as determined by the MOH). This guide is also made available on ESG's website.

Travel Advisory 2

4. Defer all travel to Hubei province, China.

5. Defer all non-essential travel to the following areas:

  • Mainland China
  • Daegu city, Republic of Korea 3
  • Cheongdo county, Republic of Korea 4

Restrictions 5

6. All new visitors with recent travel history to mainland China, Daegu and Cheongdo within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or to transit through Singapore, except for the following groups6:

  • Singapore Citizens;
  • Permanent Residents (PRs);
  • Long-term pass holders, including Work Passes and Permits, Student Pass, Dependant’s Pass, and Long-Term Visit Pass

7. Of those who are permitted to enter Singapore, the following will be quarantined:

  • Individuals who have been in Hubei within the last 14 days;
  • Returning PRs and long-term pass holders with People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports issued in Hubei; and
  • Recent travellers from Hubei who are already in Singapore – MOH will assess who among this group are at higher risk and will quarantine them.

8. Other Singapore residents and long-term pass holders with travel history to the following areas within the last 14 days will be issued a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)7.

  • Mainland China (outside of Hubei)
  • Daegu city, Republic of Korea8
  • Cheongdo county, Republic of Korea9

9. With the introduction of SHN, no new Leave of Absence (LOA) will be issued. Those who are currently on LOA will continue to serve out their LOA under conditions set out earlier by MOH and MOM. Under the SHN, affected individuals will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. For more details and conditions imposed for the SHN, please refer to this link.

Visas and Work Passes 10,11

10. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will suspend issuance of all forms of new visas (including work passes) to PRC passport holders. We will also suspend Singapore’s status as a visa-free transit facility for PRC passport holders.

11. Previously issued short-term and multiple-visit visas will also be suspended for individuals with PRC passports. During this period of suspension, they will not be allowed entry into Singapore.

12. Existing holders of Work Passes and Permits, Student Pass, Dependant’s Pass, and Long-Term Visit Pass will be allowed to enter Singapore. Given that no new work passes for PRC passport holders will be granted until the suspension is lifted, we advise you to submit applications to renew your work passes early. The Government will work closely with businesses to facilitate this process.

  • Work Permits can be renewed as soon as businesses receive their renewal notices 6 weeks prior to expiry; and
  • Dependant’s Pass, Long Term Visit Pass, EntrePass, Employment Pass, S Pass can be renewed up to 6 months prior to expiry.

Precautionary Measures for Returning Travellers 12

13. The MOM has implemented new requirements for all foreign employees (work pass, in-principle approval (IPA), Dependant’s Pass, or Long-Term Visit Pass holders) travel history to the following areas within the last 14 days and planning to enter/return to Singapore to obtain prior approval before they commence their journey.

  • Mainland China13
  • Daegu city, Republic of Korea14
  • Cheongdo county, Republic of Korea15

14. You should inform foreign employees not to make travel plans to Singapore until you have sought and received approval from MOM. Please ensure that you are able to fulfil additional obligations set out by MOM before requesting for approval to bring foreign employees in. Do note that if your foreign employees have dependants, who are not issued any work passes (including Letter of Consent), these employees must also fulfil their obligations towards their dependants16.

15. You are to seek approval from MOM using this online facility. Approval can be sought three days before the intended arrival date of your foreign employees.

16. During the 14-day monitoring period, we encourage you to adopt flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and teleconferencing to allow your employees to work from home. If remote working is not possible, you may consider the following options:

  • Provide paid LOA above and beyond annual leave, especially if the travel was work-related. To better support employees, employers should consider this option even if the travel was not work-related;
  • Allow employees to apply for annual leave;
  • Treat LOA / SHN as sick leave;
  • Allow employees to apply for no-pay leave;
  • Other mutually agreed arrangements.

17. MOM is providing support for those affected by LOA or SHN requirements due to COVID-1917. Please refer to this link for full details on the eligibility criteria of the Leave of Absence Support Programme (LOASP).

18. Employees who are served a Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid sick leave. The period of absence from work will be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employees’ hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts, collective agreements or as per the Employment Act.

19. MOH is providing support to those affected by the Quarantine Order due to COVID-1918. Please refer to this link on the MOH website for details on the eligibility criteria of the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme.

20. Please remind all employees who have returned to Singapore from overseas (regardless of location) to monitor their health closely, and see a doctor promptly if they are unwell and inform their doctor of their travel history. If they have fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, breathlessness), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.

Precautionary Measures for General Employees 19

21. Please remind your employees to remain vigilant, adopt good personal hygiene practices, and exercise appropriate precautions at all times.

22. We advise you to pay special attention to older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions in planning your operations or work schedules. Where operationally feasible, you should reduce exposure of such employees to frontline work.

23. Ensure your employees conduct regular temperature-taking and check whether they have respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose. Temperature should be taken at least twice daily, and anyone with a fever or is unwell should leave the office immediately to see a doctor20.

24. Remind your employees who are unwell to stay at home, and wear a mask if they must go out, such as to see a doctor. In particular, they should avoid coming into close and sustained proximity with others. Frontline employees are to advise customers who are unwell to seek medical attention immediately. For more details, please refer to this advisory.

25. Should you become aware that someone at your workplace is a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19, you are advised to adopt these measures set out by MOM.

26. You should also carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of that section of the workplace premises exposed to confirmed case(s). Please refer to the guidelines by the National Environment Agency (NEA) for more details.

Precautionary Measures for Specific Sectors

27. The MOH has compiled a list of advisories for companies and employees in specific sectors. Please refer to the list here.

Precautions for Large-Scale Events 21

28. We advise businesses to cancel or defer organising non-essential large-scale (more than 1,000 attendees) events22. You may find more details on this advisory here.

29. The importance of events differs according to the needs and priorities of each organisation. As a rough guideline, examples of non-essential large-scale events include Dinner & Dance and Family Day with more than 1,000 attendees.

30. You can continue with smaller-scale events such as training and development courses and internal townhall meetings.

31. You should put in place necessary precautions, such as to:

  • Carry out temperature screening;
  • Look out for respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, and deny entry to unwell individuals;
  • Remind participants not to attend if they have recent travel history to mainland China or are under LOA / SHN, and require travel declaration, if possible;
  • Ensure that event venues are well-ventilated and adequately equipped with facilities for hand washing;
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning commonly used areas; and
  • Maintain a registration list of participants, if practical.

Collective Effort to Keep Singapore Clean 23

32. We encourage your business to commit and adhere to sector-specific sanitation and hygiene checklists, covering areas such as cleaning methodology and general public hygiene. Businesses that meet the necessary requirements can qualify for an “SG Clean” quality mark to be displayed at your premises.

33. This is part of the “SG Clean” campaign led by NEA, together with multiple agencies including ESG, to rally businesses to commit to upholding good sanitation and hygiene practices. The “SG Clean” quality mark will be progressively rolled out to various sectors, covering premises with high human traffic. You may find information on the “SG Clean” campaign here.

Impact on Businesses

34. The Government has introduced measures at Budget 2020 to help companies and workers weather near-term uncertainties. This includes:

  • A Stabilisation and Support Package amounting to $4 billion to support firms by defraying their wage costs and addressing short-term cash flow needs
  • Additional support for sectors directly affected by COVID-19 i.e. tourism, aviation, retail, food services and point-to-point transport services24.

35. The Government will continue to work together with tripartite partners to restructure our economy, build new enterprise capabilities, and upskill our workers for the future.

Latest Updates

36. All companies and employees should closely monitor COVID-19-related developments and follow travel and health advisories. Please refer to the MOH website for the latest update on the COVID-19 situation. You can also refer to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) website for more business-related information pertaining to COVID-19.

You can also find the downloadable version of the advisory here

This advisory is based on information updated as of 27 February 2020.

1 General Advisory for Workplace Measures in Response to DORSCON Orange Situation in Singapore”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 7 February 2020
2 Updates on COVID-19”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 26 February 2020
3 Public Health Travel Advisory in Response to Cases of COVID-19 in Republic of Korea”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 24 February 2020
4 Public Health Travel Advisory in Response to Cases of COVID-19 in Republic of Korea”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 24 February 2020
5 Updates on COVID-19”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 28 January 2020
6 Additional Precautionary Measures in Response to Escalating Situation in Daegu and Cheongdo”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 26 February 2020
7 Implementation of New Stay-Home Notice”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 18 February 2020
8 Additional Precautionary Measures in Response to Escalating Situation in Daegu and Cheongdo”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 26 February 2020
9 Additional Precautionary Measures in Response to Escalating Situation in Daegu and Cheongdo”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 26 February 2020
10 Extension of Precautionary Measures to Minimise Risk of Commnuity Spread in Singapore”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 31 January 2020
11 Updates on additional measures by the Ministry of Manpowr to minimise the risk of community spread of Wuhan Coronavirus’, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 31 January 2020
12 Precautionary measures for employers and employees travelling to and from Mainland China and known affected countries in response to increase in cases of Wuhan Coronavirus (Wuhan virus)”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 28 January 2020
13 New Requirements for Employers Who Have Work Pass Holders with Travel History to Mainland China Entering or Returning to Singapore”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 7 February 2020
14 Entry Approval Requirement for Employers with Work Pass Holders with Travel History to Daegu City and Cheongdo County”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 26 February 2020
15 Entry Approval Requirement for Employers with Work Pass Holders with Travel History to Daegu City and Cheongdo County”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 26 February 2020
16 Advisory for Employers and Employees Travelling To and From Mainland China in Response to Increase in Cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 18 February 2020
17 Press Release: Leave of Absence Support Programme (LOASP)”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 13 February 2020
18 Press Release: Leave of Absence Support Programme (LOASP)”, Ministry of Manpower, Extracted on 13 February 2020
19 Updates on COVID-19”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 28 January 2020
20 Risk Assessment Raised to DORSCON Orange”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 7 February 2020
21 Risk Assessment Raised to DORSCON Orange”, Ministry of Health, Extracted on 7 February 2020
22 Advisory for businesses on large-scale events amidst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation”, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Extracted on 15 February 2020
23 Press Release: “SG Clean” Campaign Launched to Rally Public and Businesses to Work Together to Keep Singapore Clean”, National Environment Agency, Extracted on 16 February 2020
24 Budget 2020 Speech: Responding to Challenges in a New Decade”, Singapore Budget 2020, Extracted on 19 February 2020