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Advisory on COVID-19 for businesses
22 Jun 2021 Updated 21 Oct 2021

Mandatory Sector Testing

Frequent and pervasive COVID-19 testing is an important part of Singapore’s strategy to detect and ringfence infections in the community. This will enable us to safely resume business and social activities.

There are two key testing regimes – the “Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) regime” and the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” (VoRT) regime.

Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) regime

All staff who work in settings with unmasked clients/patrons and/or have prolonged and close contact with clients when performing services have been placed on the Fast and Easy Testing (FET) regime, using tests such as antigen rapid test (ART), regardless of their vaccination status.

From 27 September 2021, mandatory FET RRT will be progressively extended to those working in settings which involve frequent community interactions. These include retail mall establishments; supermarkets; last-mile delivery personnel (including parcel and food delivery personnel); and public and private transport workers.

Vaccinate or Regular Test (VoRT) regime

From 1 October 2021, unvaccinated individuals working in certain workplace settings must be tested twice a week using antigen rapid tests (ART).

Testing requirements for applicable staff in F&B, retail and lifestyle sectors

Enterprises in the following sectors can find more information on what they need to do under the FET / VoRT testing regimes:

Enterprises in other sectors should approach their lead sector Government agency for more details on their testing requirements.

 

Dine-in food & beverage (F&B) establishments

All outlet employees working in dine-in F&B establishments and / or all F&B establishments (both dine-in and take-away) located in retail malls, as well as in-house last-mile delivery personnel must undergo testing. The above include both part-time and full-time employees, as well as third-party contracted staff (e.g. cleaners) who work at the establishments.

Staff may be exempted from both the Fast and Easy Testing (FET) and Vaccinate or Regular Test (VoRT) regimes based on the following:

  • Contraindication (e.g. nasal surgery, facial injury that may affect the collection of nasal samples from the nostril);
  • Exemption due to special needs and disability (e.g. special needs such as autism, disability such as vision loss and physical impairment);
  • Exemption due to past infection from COVID-19 within 270 days, with the following supporting documents:
    • Positive COVID-19 test record in HealthHub within 270 days (this should be the first C+ from the last episode of confirmed infection/re-infection, a C+ from persistent shedding will not be counted); or
    • Doctors’ discharge memo

Exemption from mandatory testing requires the submission of the relevant exemption documentation (the form used for FET and VoRT is the same), and is subject to approval from the respective sector lead Government agencies.

The testing requirements for staff depend on the workplace settings.

For staff working in all dine-in F&B establishments (including restaurants, cafes, food courts, coffee shops, hawker centres), the requirements are summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency Number of tests that will be funded by the Government within a 28-day period
Fully Vaccinated* From 13 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible** From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 8
Medically Eligible From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 4 (remaining 4 test kits to be self-funded)

For staff working in take-away-only F&B establishments located in retail malls, the requirements are summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency Number of tests that will be funded by the Government within a 28-day period
Fully Vaccinated* From 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible** From 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 8
Medically Eligible From 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 4 (remaining 4 test kits to be self-funded)

*Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty, Moderna, or any World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines such as Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca. Individuals who have a) recovered from COVID-19 based on a positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore and taken one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty or Moderna, with an additional 2 weeks for the vaccine to be effective; or (b) recovered from COVID-19 i.e. less than 270 days of first positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore, are also considered to be fully vaccinated.

**Individuals must be certified by a medical practitioner to be medically ineligible for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

F&B establishments such as restaurants, cafes, food courts, and coffee shops are encouraged to conduct Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS), where employees will swab themselves under the supervision of a trained staff (‘Supervisor’). Supervision can be done either on-site at the workplace or virtually using tools such as video conferencing. To conduct ESSS, establishments will need to undergo training provided by the Ministry of Health’s appointed training provider, HMI Institute of Health Sciences to supervise employees’ self-swab.

For small businesses e,g. hawkers who are not able to organise their own ESSS, they may work with their appointed Sector Lead to go to the Quick Test Centres (QTCs) for their tests.

The costs for testing and supervisors training will be borne by the Government until 31 December 2021.

Enterprises conducting ESSS for their employees are required to ensure that:

  1. they have appointed an adequate number of Supervisors to supervise every Worker whenever they carry out the swabs on themselves (see section below on How do I train staff to become supervisors for ESSS?);
  2. test results obtained by employees from ESSS are uploaded on the Swab Registration System (SRS) in accordance with the testing requirements (see section below on How do I request test kits / record the test results?); and
  3. employees that obtain ‘AG+’ or ‘Double Invalid’ test results under ESSS are managed in accordance with the testing regulations (see section below on What should I do if an employee obtains an ‘AG+’ / ‘Double Invalid’ ART result?)

To support establishments in their testing efforts, the Government will set up training programmes that companies can leverage to train supervisors in their establishments in order to supervise ART self-swabs for their staff.

All F&B establishments must nominate up to two employees per outlet to attend a 4-hour virtual Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s appointed vendor, HMI Institute. Nominated employees above 50 years old must be fully vaccinated (i.e. have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination from our national vaccination programme and 14 days have passed from the time of the second dose).

Staff who complete the course will be issued a certificate of attendance. To register staff for the Supervisory Training, F&B establishments should book their training slot directly with HMI Institute here.

Upon successful sign-up, a web link will be sent for employees to attend the virtual training session via Zoom.

Please note that timings for the training are from a) 8am-12pm, b) 2pm-6pm and c) 6pm-10pm. These will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

F&B enterprises who have yet to come onboard the testing regime are required to submit the relevant information using the form here to order test kits and set-up a Swab Registration System (SRS) account to be used for uploading of test results.

F&B enterprises with employees who are medically ineligible for vaccination should make an additional submission here to obtain additional Government-funded test kits under the VoRT regime.

Enterprises with multiple outlets must consolidate orders to a single delivery point for each UEN. Enterprises will be responsible for the dissemination of the test kits to their outlets. Enterprises are encouraged to submit a single form for each UEN. The Point-of-Contact (POC) indicated in the form must be the employee who will be responsible for receiving the kits delivery and managing the uploading of test results.

Delivery of test kits

To facilitate the enhanced frequency of testing, a 2-month supply of test kits will be automatically delivered directly to enterprises who have registered for an SRS account. Delivery for orders under the same UEN will be consolidated to the single delivery address from 13 September. Enterprises who require additional kits due to changes in the manpower numbers can submit amendment orders here.

Following the initial delivery of the 2-month supply of test kits, kits will subsequently be automatically replenished, subject to tracking against kit utilisation and validation by test results submission on SRS. Tracking will be done at the UEN-level. Enterprises are therefore responsible for ensuring the declared number of employees for each UEN is accurate in the order form. Enterprises must also ensure the corresponding number of tests are conducted every seven days, with the results properly uploaded. Failure to adhere to the above may result in the kits not being replenished.

Enterprises shall only use the ART test kits that are supplied by the Government for ESSS and shall not distribute, supply or sell them to any third-party.

Once the SRS account has been set up, your POC will receive an email notification informing them about the creation of the SRS account and how to upload test results onto it.

More details on how to use the SRS can be found here.

ART test kits will return one of three possible test results:

  • negative or “AG-”;
  • positive or “AG+”; or
  • invalid or “AG Invalid”.

Enterprises are required to upload the test results obtained by their workers from ESSS onto SRS in accordance with the following:

  1. if the test result is “AG+”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed;
  2. if the test result is “AG-”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed
  3. if the test result is “AG Invalid”, enterprises are to ensure the worker repeats the ART with a new test kit; both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS.

In the event the Swab Supervisor submits the results of an employee erroneously, he or she should fill in the correct details here.

Companies are advised to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on www.covid.gov.sg.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and has no acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms

Where the worker has obtained an “AG+” test result while conducting ESSS, enterprises are recommended to strongly encourage the worker to undertake a follow-up ART test and to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at www.covid.gov.sg.

The follow-up ART test does not need to be carried out under supervision and the results do not need to be uploaded to SRS. Enterprises are to use self-sourced ART test kits for the follow-up ART test and not those that have been supplied by the Government under the FET regime.

Asymptomatic individuals who test AG+ on ART are advised to self-isolate at home and take another ART after 72 hours. Should they still obtain an AG+ result, they should repeat ART self-testing (repeat ARTs should be done at least one day apart) and continue to isolate themselves. Asymptomatic AG+ persons can stop self-isolation and resume daily activities when they test AG-.

Asymptomatic AG+ individuals do not need to undergo confirmatory PCR testing unless they develop ARI-symptoms e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell. The exception is for unvaccinated workers aged 60 and above, who should consult a doctor and undergo confirmatory PCR testing even if they are asymptomatic.

More information on work and leave arrangements for asymptomatic AG+ workers can be found here.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and shows signs of acute respiratory infection (ARI)

Symptomatic AG+ individuals (e.g. those with cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell) should undergo confirmatory PCR testing.

Enterprises should:

  1. contact and make an appointment for that employee to visit a doctor for a confirmatory PCR test at a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC);
  2. provide an employer-signed copy of the referral note;
  3. remind the employee to bring his or her NRIC, Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit (whichever is relevant) for verification at that SASH PHPC, and to self-isolate in the interim; and
  4. notify that employee that he or she has to self-isolate at home until the PCR test result has returned; employees that subsequently obtain a positive PCR test result will be further advised on the mode of recovery e.g. home recovery or recovery at an external facility.

Enterprises should remind symptomatic workers who have obtained an “AG+” test result to go for their confirmatory PCR swab on a daily basis. After 72 hours have elapsed from the time of their ART, enterprises must check if these individuals have gone for their confirmatory PCR swabs and report those who have yet to do so within the same day via go.gov.sg/artpositivenoncompliance.

If worker obtains an “Invalid” test result from ESSS

Workers that obtain an “AG Invalid” test result are required to immediately undergo a follow-up ART until they obtain an ‘AG+’ or ‘AG-‘ test result. Both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS. Workers who obtain multiple “Invalid” results are advised to visit a licensed ART provider to seek assistance from a professional to perform the test.

For staff working in all dine-in F&B establishments (including restaurants, cafes, food courts, coffee shops, hawker centres), the requirements are summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency
Fully Vaccinated From 13 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days
Medically Eligible From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days

For staff working in take-away-only F&B establishments located in retail malls, the requirements are summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency
Fully Vaccinated From 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible From 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days
Medically Eligible From 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days

To fulfil testing requirements, enterprises must adhere to the guidelines listed in the updated FET Stringent Notice and the VoRT Notice.

Please note that both testing regimes are being imposed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. Failure to comply with the requirements set out herein may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations1.

1 F&B establishments must comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations and implement Safe Management Measures (SMMs), as set out on the COVID Gobusiness website. They are also required to comply with the SMMs set out by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Please find a list of references below:

For more guides and materials, please refer to the section at the end of the webpage.

For enquiries, please call the Enterprise Singapore Infoline at 6898 1800 or reach out to us at go.gov.sg/helloesg.


 

Personal care services

All outlet employees working in all PCS establishments (e.g. facial and nail services, spas/saunas, massage establishments, hairdressing, and make-up services) must undergo mandatory testing. This includes both part-time and full-time employees, as well as third-party contracted staff (e.g. cleaners) who work at the establishments.

Staff may be exempted from both the Fast and Easy Testing (FET) and Vaccinate or Regular Test (VoRT) regimes based on the following:

  • Contraindication (e.g. nasal surgery, facial injury that may affect the collection of nasal samples from the nostril);
  • Exemption due to special needs and disability (e.g. special needs such as autism, disability such as vision loss and physical impairment);
  • Exemption due to past infection from COVID-19 within 270 days, with the following supporting documents:
    • Positive COVID-19 test record in HealthHub within 270 days (this should be the first C+ from the last episode of confirmed infection/re-infection, a C+ from persistent shedding will not be counted); or
    • Doctors’ discharge memo

Exemption from mandatory testing requires the submission of the relevant exemption documentation (the form used for FET and VoRT is the same), and is subject to approval from the respective sector lead Government agencies.

The testing requirements is summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency Number of tests that will be funded by the Government within a 28-day period
Fully Vaccinated* From 13 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible** From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 8
Medically Eligible From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 4 (remaining 4 test kits to be self-funded)

*Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty, Moderna, or any World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines such as Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca. Individuals who have a) recovered from COVID-19 based on a positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore and taken one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty or Moderna, with an additional 2 weeks for the vaccine to be effective; or (b) recovered from COVID-19 i.e. less than 270 days of first positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore, are also considered to be fully vaccinated.

**Individuals must be certified by a medical practitioner to be medically ineligible for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

PCS establishments are encouraged to conduct Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS), where employees will swab themselves under the supervision of a trained staff (‘Supervisor’). Supervision can be done either on-site at the workplace or virtually using tools such as video conferencing. To conduct ESSS, establishments will need to undergo training provided by the Government to supervise employees’ self-swabs.

Note: Massage establishments should refer to the instructions sent via emails by the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (PLRD) on the actions to be taken to be enrolled on ESSS.

Small businesses that might not be able to organise the supervised self-swabs on their own can make appointments for their employees to undergo testing at Quick Test Centres (QTCs).

  • PCS establishments located in shopping / standalone complexes can make appointments to undergo testing at QTCs here;
  • PCS establishments located in neighbourhood shops should make appointments to undergo testing at QTCs here.

The costs for testing will be borne by the Government until 31 December 2021.

Enterprises conducting ESSS for their employees are required to ensure that:

  1. they have appointed trained Swab Supervisors to ensure that each and every employee is supervised by a trained Swab Supervisor (see section below on How do I train staff to become supervisors for ESSS?);
  2. test results obtained by employees from ESSS are uploaded on the Swab Registration System (SRS) in accordance with the testing requirements (see section below on How do I request test kits / record the testing results?); and
  3. employees that obtain ‘AG+’ or ‘Double Invalid’ test results under ESSS are managed in accordance to testing regulations (see section below on What should I do if an employee obtains an ‘AG+’ / ‘Double Invalid’ ART result?)

To support establishments in testing efforts, the Government has set up training programmes that companies can leverage to train supervisors in their establishments to supervise ART self-swabs for their staff.

All PCS establishments must nominate at most two employees per outlet to attend a 4-hour virtual Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s appointed vendor, HMI Institute. Nominated employees above 50 years old must be fully vaccinated (i.e. have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination from our national vaccination progamme).

Staff who complete the course will be issued a certificate of attendance.

To register staff for the Supervisory Training, PCS establishments should book their training slot directly with HMI Institute here.

Upon successful sign-up, a web link will be sent for employees to attend the virtual training session via Zoom.

Please note that timings for the training are from a) 8am-12pm, b) 2pm-6pm and c) 6pm-10pm. These will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Note: Massage establishments should refer to the instructions sent via emails by the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (PLRD) on the actions to be taken to be enrolled on ESSS.

PCS establishments should submit their essential details here to arrange for both the self-collection of test kits and set-up of the Swab Registration System (SRS) account to be used for uploading testing results.

Delivery of test kits

To facilitate the enhanced frequency of testing, a 2-month supply of test kits will be automatically delivered directly to enterprises who have registered for an SRS account. Delivery for orders under the same UEN will be consolidated to the single delivery address from 13 September. Enterprises who require additional kits due to changes in the manpower numbers can submit amendment orders here.

Following the initial delivery of the 2-month supply of test kits, kits will subsequently be automatically replenished, subject to tracking against kit utilisation and validation by test results submission on SRS. Tracking will be done at the UEN-level. Enterprises are therefore responsible for ensuring the declared number of employees for each UEN is accurate in the order form. Enterprises must also ensure the corresponding number of tests are conducted every seven days, with the results properly uploaded. Failure to adhere to the above may result in the kits not being replenished.

Enterprises shall only use the ART test kits that are supplied by the Government for ESSS and shall not distribute, supply or sell them to any third-party.

Once the SRS account has been set up, your POC will receive an email notification informing them about the creation of the SRS account and how to upload test results onto it.

More details on how to use the SRS can be found here.

ART test kits will return one of three possible test results:

  • negative or “AG-”;
  • positive or “AG+”; or
  • invalid or “AG Invalid”.

Enterprises are required to upload the test results obtained by their workers from ESSS onto SRS in accordance with the following:

  1. if the test result is “AG+”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed;
  2. if the test result is “AG-”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed
  3. if the test result is “AG Invalid”, enterprises are to ensure the worker repeats the ART with a new test kit; both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS.

In the event the Swab Supervisor submits the results of an employee erroneously, he or she should fill in the correct details here.

Companies are advised to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on www.covid.gov.sg.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and has no acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms

Where the worker has obtained an “AG+” test result while conducting ESSS, enterprises are recommended to strongly encourage the worker to undertake a follow-up ART test and to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at www.covid.gov.sg.

The follow-up ART test does not need to be carried out under supervision and the results do not need to be uploaded to SRS. Enterprises are to use self-sourced ART test kits for the follow-up ART test and not those that have been supplied by the Government under the FET regime.

Asymptomatic individuals who test AG+ on ART are advised to self-isolate at home and take another ART after 72 hours. Should they still obtain an AG+ result, they should repeat ART self-testing (repeat ARTs should be done at least one day apart) and continue to isolate themselves. Asymptomatic AG+ persons can stop self-isolation and resume daily activities when they test AG-.

Asymptomatic AG+ individuals do not need to undergo confirmatory PCR testing unless they develop ARI-symptoms e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell. The exception is for unvaccinated workers aged 60 and above, who should consult a doctor and undergo confirmatory PCR testing even if they are asymptomatic.

More information on work and leave arrangements for asymptomatic AG+ workers can be found here.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and shows signs of acute respiratory infection (ARI)

Symptomatic AG+ individuals (e.g. those with cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell) should undergo confirmatory PCR testing.

Enterprises should:

  1. contact and make an appointment for that employee to visit a doctor for a confirmatory PCR test at a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC);
  2. provide an employer-signed copy of the referral note;
  3. remind the employee to bring his or her NRIC, Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit (whichever is relevant) for verification at that SASH PHPC, and to self-isolate in the interim; and
  4. notify that employee that he or she has to self-isolate at home until the PCR test result has returned; employees that subsequently obtain a positive PCR test result will be further advised on the mode of recovery e.g. home recovery or recovery at an external facility.

Enterprises should remind symptomatic workers who have obtained an “AG+” test result to go for their confirmatory PCR swab on a daily basis. After 72 hours have elapsed from the time of their ART, enterprises must check if these individuals have gone for their confirmatory PCR swabs and report those who have yet to do so within the same day via go.gov.sg/artpositivenoncompliance.

If worker obtains an “Invalid” test result from ESSS

Workers that obtain an “AG Invalid” test result are required to immediately undergo a follow-up ART until they obtain an ‘AG+’ or ‘AG-‘ test result. Both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS. Workers who obtain multiple “Invalid” results are advised to visit a licensed ART provider to seek assistance from a professional to perform the test.

From 13 September 2021, the following will apply:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency
Fully Vaccinated From 13 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days
Medically Eligible From 13 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days

To fulfil the requirements for mandatory testing, enterprises must adhere to the guidelines listed in the FET document and VoRT document.

Please note that this testing regime is being imposed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. Failure to comply with the requirements set out herein may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations1.

1 PCS establishments must comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations and implement Safe Management Measures (SMMs), as set out on the COVID Gobusiness website. They are also required to comply with the SMMs set out by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Please find a list of references below:

For more guides and materials, please refer to the section at the end of the webpage.

For enquiries, please call the Enterprise Singapore Infoline at 6898 1800 or reach out to us at go.gov.sg/helloesg.


 

Retail establishments in malls and large standalone stores

All employees, regardless of vaccination status, working at retail establishments in malls and large standalone stores (includes non-public facing roles e.g. centre management office employees based in malls, office employees based in large standalone stores) must undergo mandatory testing. This includes both part-time and full-time employees, as well as third-party contracted staff (e.g. security, promoters) who work at these establishments.

Staff may be exempted from both the Fast and Easy Testing (FET) and Vaccinate or Regular Test (VoRT) regimes based on the following:

  • Contraindication (e.g. nasal surgery, facial injury that may affect the collection of nasal samples from the nostril);
  • Exemption due to special needs and disability (e.g. special needs such as autism, disability such as vision loss and physical impairment);
  • Exemption due to past infection from COVID-19 within 270 days, with the following supporting documents:
    • Positive COVID-19 test record in HealthHub within 270 days (this should be the first C+ from the last episode of confirmed infection/re-infection, a C+ from persistent shedding will not be counted); or
    • Doctor’s discharge memo

Exemption from mandatory testing requires the submission of the relevant exemption documentation (the form used for FET and VoRT is the same), and is subject to approval from the respective sector lead Government agencies.

The testing requirements is summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency Number of tests that will be funded by the Government within a 28-day period
Fully Vaccinated* Progressively from 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible** Progressively from 27 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 8
Medically Eligible Progressively from 27 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 4 (remaining 4 test kits to be self-funded)

*Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna, or any World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines such as Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 based on a positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore in the last 270 days, and have not taken one dose of vaccine, are also considered fully vaccinated.

**Individuals must be certified by a medical practitioner to be medically ineligible for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Establishments within retail malls and large standalone stores are encouraged to conduct Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS), where employees will swab themselves under the supervision of a trained staff (‘Supervisor’). Supervision can be done either on-site at the workplace or virtually using tools such as video conferencing. To conduct ESSS, establishments will need to undergo training provided by the Government to supervise employees’ self-swabs.

The costs for the tests will be borne by the Government until 31 December 2021.

Enterprises conducting ESSS for their employees are required to ensure that:

  1. they have appointed trained Swab Supervisors to ensure that each and every employee is supervised by a trained Swab Supervisor (see section below on How do I train staff to become supervisors for ESSS?);
  2. test results obtained by employees from ESSS are uploaded on the Swab Registration System (SRS) in accordance with the testing requirements (see section below on How do I request test kits / record the testing results?); and
  3. employees that obtain ‘AG+’ or ‘Double Invalid’ test results under ESSS are managed in accordance to testing regulations (see section below on What should I do if an employee obtains an ‘AG+’ / ‘Double Invalid’ ART result?)

To support establishments in their efforts to get started on FET, the Government will set up training programmes that companies can leverage to train supervisors in their establishments to supervise ART self-swabs for their staff.

All retail establishments and large standalone stores must nominate at least two employees per outlet or unit to attend a 4-hour virtual Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s appointed vendor, HMI Institute. Nominated employees above 50 years old must be fully vaccinated (i.e. have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination from our national vaccination programme), or conduct supervision in a well-ventilated area with 3m distance from employee conducting self-swab. Unvaccinated supervisors above 50 years old must conduct supervision with N-95 mask, gown, gloves of proper size, face shield/goggles, and hair net (for individual with long hair).

Staff who complete the course will be issued a certificate of attendance. To register staff for the Supervisory Training, retail establishments should book their training slot directly with HMI Institute here.

Upon successful sign-up, a web link will be sent for employees to attend the virtual training session via Zoom.

Please note that timings for the training are from a) 8am-12pm, b) 2pm-6pm and c) 6pm-10pm. These will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab fees will be fully borne by the Government.

There is no capacity limit to the number of nominated employees that retail establishments can send to attend the Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab. However, retail establishments should not send more nominated employees for the training than necessary.

For new test kit orders

Establishments within retail malls and large standalone stores should submit their essential details here to arrange for both the delivery of test kits and set-up of the Swab Registration System (SRS) account to be used for uploading FET results.

Enterprises shall only use the ART test kits that are supplied by the Government for ESSS and shall not distribute, supply or sell them to any third-party.

Company POCs will receive an email notification after the SRS accounts have been set up. They will be responsible for uploading the results.

More details on how to use the SRS can be found here.

For replenishment test kit orders

If there is an increment in company headcount not accounted for in your first declaration, please utilise the existing ART kits first that were delivered. As every declared company headcount was given 3 months of ART kit supplies, there should be sufficient ART kits to cover a reasonable increment in company headcount. Companies should therefore not rush to submit new ART kit orders for these new employees and utilise existing ART kits available first.

However, if there is a significant change in your company headcount or your ART kit supplies are running low, you may submit a request for ART kit top up via this link. Please note that this is subject to verification of actual usage and approval.

Once the SRS account has been set up, your POC will receive an email notification informing them about the creation of the SRS account and how to upload test results onto it.

More details on how to use the SRS can be found here.

ART test kits will return one of three possible test results:

  • negative or “AG-”;
  • positive or “AG+”; or
  • invalid or “AG Invalid”.

Enterprises are required to upload the test results obtained by their workers from ESSS onto SRS in accordance with the following:

  1. if the test result is “AG+”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed;
  2. if the test result is “AG-”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed
  3. if the test result is “AG Invalid”, enterprises are to ensure the worker repeats the ART with a new test kit; both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS.

In the event the Swab Supervisor submits the results of an employee erroneously, he or she should fill in the correct details here.

Companies are advised to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on www.covid.gov.sg.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and has no acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms

Where the worker has obtained an “AG+” test result while conducting ESSS, enterprises are recommended to strongly encourage the worker to undertake a follow-up ART test and to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at www.covid.gov.sg.

The follow-up ART test does not need to be carried out under supervision and the results do not need to be uploaded to SRS. Enterprises are to use self-sourced ART test kits for the follow-up ART test and not those that have been supplied by the Government under the FET regime.

Asymptomatic individuals who test AG+ on ART are advised to self-isolate at home and take another ART after 72 hours. Should they still obtain an AG+ result, they should repeat ART self-testing (repeat ARTs should be done at least one day apart) and continue to isolate themselves. Asymptomatic AG+ persons can stop self-isolation and resume daily activities when they test AG-.

Asymptomatic AG+ individuals do not need to undergo confirmatory PCR testing unless they develop ARI-symptoms e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell. The exception is for unvaccinated workers aged 60 and above, who should consult a doctor and undergo confirmatory PCR testing even if they are asymptomatic.

More information on work and leave arrangements for asymptomatic AG+ workers can be found here.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and shows signs of acute respiratory infection (ARI)

Symptomatic AG+ individuals (e.g. those with cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell) should undergo confirmatory PCR testing.

Enterprises should:

  1. contact and make an appointment for that employee to visit a doctor for a confirmatory PCR test at a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC);
  2. provide an employer-signed copy of the referral note;
  3. remind the employee to bring his or her NRIC, Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit (whichever is relevant) for verification at that SASH PHPC, and to self-isolate in the interim; and
  4. notify that employee that he or she has to self-isolate at home until the PCR test result has returned; employees that subsequently obtain a positive PCR test result will be further advised on the mode of recovery e.g. home recovery or recovery at an external facility.

Enterprises should remind symptomatic workers who have obtained an “AG+” test result to go for their confirmatory PCR swab on a daily basis. After 72 hours have elapsed from the time of their ART, enterprises must check if these individuals have gone for their confirmatory PCR swabs and report those who have yet to do so within the same day via go.gov.sg/artpositivenoncompliance.

If worker obtains an “Invalid” test result from ESSS

Workers that obtain an “AG Invalid” test result are required to immediately undergo a follow-up ART until they obtain an ‘AG+’ or ‘AG-‘ test result. Both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS. Workers who obtain multiple “Invalid” results are advised to visit a licensed ART provider to seek assistance from a professional to perform the test.

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency
Fully Vaccinated Progressively from 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible Progressively from 27 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days
Medically Eligible Progressively from 27 to 30 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days

To fulfil FET the requirements for mandatory testing, enterprises must adhere to the guidelines listed in this FET document and VORT document.

Please note that these tests are being imposed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. Failure to comply with the requirements set out herein may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations1.

1 Retail establishments and large standalone must comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations and implement Safe Management Measures (SMMs), as set out on the COVID Gobusiness website. They are also required to comply with the SMMs set out by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

 

Supermarkets

 

All employees, regardless of vaccination status, working in supermarket outlets must undergo mandatory testing. This includes part time employees and external vendors. External vendors are defined as (i) cleaners (ii) customer-facing vendors (e.g. promoters) (iii) all other vendors stationed in supermarket outlets.

Supermarkets refer to consumer facing outlets with a Supermarket License from Singapore Food Agency (SFA). For supermarkets without a Supermarket License from SFA but operate within a mall, please refer to the section for Retail Establishments in Malls.

Staff may be exempted from both the Fast and Easy Testing (FET) and Vaccinate or Regular Test (VoRT) regimes based on the following, subject to approval from the respective sector lead Government agencies:

  • Contraindication (e.g. nasal surgery, facial injury that may affect the collection of nasal samples from the nostril);
  • Exemption due to special needs and disability (e.g. special needs such as autism, disability such as vision loss and physical impairment);
  • Exemption due to past infection from COVID-19 within 270 days, with the following supporting documents:
    • Positive COVID-19 test record in HealthHub within 270 days (this should be the first C+ from the last episode of confirmed infection/re-infection, a C+ from persistent shedding will not be counted); or
    • Doctor’s discharge memo

Exemption from mandatory testing requires the submission of the relevant exemption documentation (the form used for FET and VoRT is the same), and is subject to approval from the respective sector lead Government agencies.

The testing requirements is summarised as follows:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency Number of tests that will be funded by the Government within a 28-day period
Fully Vaccinated* Progressively from 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days 4
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible** From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 8
Medically Eligible From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days 4 (remaining 4 test kits to be self-funded)

*Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty, Moderna, or any World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines such as Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 based on a positive PCR test result obtained in Singapore in the last 270 days, and have not taken one dose of vaccine, are also considered fully vaccinated. Individuals in this category may be exempted, subject to approval from the respective sector lead Government agencies (see section above on “Who must undergo mandatory testing?” for more details).

**Individuals must be certified by a medical practitioner to be medically ineligible for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Supermarket establishments are encouraged to conduct Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS), where employees will swab themselves under the supervision of a trained staff (‘Supervisor’). Supervision can be done either on-site at the workplace or virtually using tools such as video conferencing. To conduct ESSS, establishments will need to undergo training provided by the Government to supervise employees’ self-swabs.

The cost for testing under FET will be borne by the Government until 31 December 2021. For more details on funding, see section above on “How often will staff be tested?”.

Enterprises conducting ESSS for their employees are required to ensure that:

  1. they have appointed trained Swab Supervisors to ensure that each and every employee is supervised by a trained Swab Supervisor (see section below on How do I train staff to become supervisors for ESSS?);
  2. test results obtained by employees from ESSS are uploaded on the Swab Registration System (SRS) in accordance with testing requirements (see section below on How do I request test kits / record the testing results?); and
  3. employees that obtain ‘AG+’ or ‘Invalid’ test results under ESSS are managed in accordance to testing regulations (see section below on What should I do if an employee obtains an ‘AG+’ / ‘Invalid’ ART result?)

To support establishments in testing efforts, the Government has set up training programmes that companies can leverage to train supervisors in their establishments to supervise ART self-swabs for their staff.

All supermarket establishments must nominate at least two employees per outlet to attend a 4-hour virtual Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s appointed vendor, HMI Institute. Nominated employees above 50 years old must be fully vaccinated (i.e. have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination from our national vaccination progamme).

Staff who complete the course will be issued a certificate of attendance.

To register staff for the Supervisory Training, supermarket establishments should book their training slot directly with HMI Institute here.

Upon successful sign-up, a web link will be sent for employees to attend the virtual training session via Zoom.

Please note that timings for the training are from a) 8am-12pm, b) 2pm-6pm and c) 6pm-10pm. These will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab fees will be fully borne by the Government.

There is no capacity limit to the number of nominated employees that supermarket establishments can send to attend the Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab. However, supermarket establishments should not send more nominated employees for the training than necessary.

For new test kit orders

Supermarket establishments should submit their essential details by clicking here to arrange for both the delivery of test kits and set-up of the Swab Registration System (SRS) account to be used for uploading test results.

Enterprises shall only use the ART test kits that are supplied by the Government for ESSS and shall not distribute, supply or sell them to any third-party.

Company POCs will receive an email notification after the SRS accounts have been set up. They will ensure that testing regimes are conducted and results are uploaded by swab supervisors.

Please ensure company POCs (those with the company admin account) and selected swab supervisors attend SRS training via this link here.

More details on how to use the SRS can be found here.

For replenishment test kit orders

A test kit top-up will be triggered based on the test kit utilisation rate. This is determined by the number of test results uploaded to the SRS system.

The number of test kits delivered will be based on the details submitted for the first test kit order.

If there are new employees that were previously not accounted for, please tap on the existing test kits that were delivered. Supermarkets do not have to submit new test kit orders for these new employees. However, if there is a significant change in employee numbers, you may submit a request for test kit top up via this link. Do note that this is subject to approval.

Once the SRS account has been set up, your POC will receive an email notification informing them about the creation of the SRS account and how to upload test results onto it.

Please ensure company POCs (those with the company admin account) and selected swab supervisors attend SRS training via this link here.

More details on how to use the SRS can be found here.

ART test kits will return one of three possible test results:

  • negative or “AG-”;
  • positive or “AG+”; or
  • invalid or “AG Invalid”.

Enterprises are required to upload the test results obtained by their workers from ESSS onto SRS in accordance with the following:

  1. if the test result is “AG+”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed;
  2. if the test result is “AG-”, enterprises are to upload the test result of that worker no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific worker is completed
  3. if the test result is “AG Invalid”, enterprises are to ensure the worker repeats the ART with a new test kit; both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS.

Enterprises are strongly recommended to guide employees that obtain “AG+” test results from ESSS to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at www.moh.gov.sg.

In the event the Swab Supervisor submits the results of an employee erroneously, he or she should fill in the correct details here.

Companies are advised to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on www.covid.gov.sg.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and has no acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms

Where the worker has obtained an “AG+” test result while conducting ESSS, enterprises are recommended to strongly encourage the worker to undertake a follow-up ART test and to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at www.covid.gov.sg.

The follow-up ART test does not need to be carried out under supervision and the results do not need to be uploaded to SRS. Enterprises are to use self-sourced ART test kits for the follow-up ART test and not those that have been supplied by the Government under the FET regime.

Asymptomatic individuals who test AG+ on ART are advised to self-isolate at home and take another ART after 72 hours. Should they still obtain an AG+ result, they should repeat ART self-testing (repeat ARTs should be done at least one day apart) and continue to isolate themselves. Asymptomatic AG+ persons can stop self-isolation and resume daily activities when they test AG-.

Asymptomatic AG+ individuals do not need to undergo confirmatory PCR testing unless they develop ARI-symptoms e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell. The exception is for unvaccinated workers aged 60 and above, who should consult a doctor and undergo confirmatory PCR testing even if they are asymptomatic.

More information on work and leave arrangements for asymptomatic AG+ workers can be found here.

If worker obtains “AG+” test result from ESSS and shows signs of acute respiratory infection (ARI)

Symptomatic AG+ individuals (e.g. those with cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell) should undergo confirmatory PCR testing.

Enterprises should:

  1. contact and make an appointment for that employee to visit a doctor for a confirmatory PCR test at a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC);
  2. provide an employer-signed copy of the referral note;
  3. remind the employee to bring his or her NRIC, Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit (whichever is relevant) for verification at that SASH PHPC, and to self-isolate in the interim; and
  4. notify that employee that he or she has to self-isolate at home until the PCR test result has returned; employees that subsequently obtain a positive PCR test result will be further advised on the mode of recovery e.g. home recovery or recovery at an external facility.

Enterprises should remind symptomatic workers who have obtained an “AG+” test result to go for their confirmatory PCR swab on a daily basis. After 72 hours have elapsed from the time of their ART, enterprises must check if these individuals have gone for their confirmatory PCR swabs and report those who have yet to do so within the same day via go.gov.sg/artpositivenoncompliance.

If worker obtains an “Invalid” test result from ESSS

Workers that obtain an “AG Invalid” test result are required to immediately undergo a follow-up ART until they obtain an ‘AG+’ or ‘AG-‘ test result. Both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS. Workers who obtain multiple “Invalid” results are advised to visit a licensed ART provider to seek assistance from a professional to perform the test.

Progressively from 27 September 2021, the following will apply:

Vaccination status of employee Period Testing frequency
Fully Vaccinated Progressively from 27 Sep 2021 Once every 7 days
Unvaccinated Medically Ineligible From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days
Medically Eligible From 1 Oct 2021 Twice every 7 days

To fulfil FET the requirements for mandatory testing, enterprises must adhere to the guidelines listed in this FET document and VORT document.

Please note that this testing regime is being imposed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. Failure to comply with the requirements set out herein may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations1.

1 Supermarket establishments must comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations and implement Safe Management Measures (SMMs), as set out on the COVID Gobusiness website. They are also required to comply with the SMMs set out by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Please find a list of references below:

For more guides and materials, please refer to the section at the end of the webpage.

For enquiries, please reach out to us at go.gov.sg/helloesg.


 

Training materials and references

SRS materials

Testing workflow materials