Living with COVID-19


Article published on 18 October 2021

As Singapore moves towards the new normal of living with COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has made significant changes to COVID-19 testing and handling of positive cases. Here is a summary of the new normal.

No Quarantine Order for Close Contacts

Close contacts of COVID-19 cases will no longer receive quarantine order. Instead, they will receive health risk warnings (HRW) (all close contacts ages two years and older).

What you should do after receiving HRW?

  • Perform an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on your own as soon as possible, and upload results online to MOH (not required to update subsequent results to MOH, unless the result turned positive).
  • Self-isolate for seven days. Carry out ART on days when you need to leave the house.
  • Otherwise, conduct another ART on your own on day seven, If negative, you may resume normal activities without further testing.

ART Test for All, Except unwell and ≥ 60 Years Old (Unvaccinated)

Unvaccinated, 60 years and older individuals or those with even just mild symptoms such as cough, fatigue, sore throat, running nose, muscle ache, nausea / vomiting, or new loss of sense of taste or smell, should still undergo PCR testing.

Individuals With Positive Test Results Are Categorised into Two Groups

Well or asymptomatic

  • Self-isolate for 72 hours.
  • After 72 hours of self-isolation, perform ART every 24 hours. Continue to self-isolate if the result is positive.
  • Employees should immediately inform their employer when they test positive on ART and begin their self-isolation at home. Employers should not ask ART-positive, but physically well employees to report to their workplace. Such employees should be allowed to work from home if they are able to do so. If working from home is not possible, employers should treat the period of absence as paid sick leave – either paid outpatient sick leave or paid hospitalisation leave, without requiring a medical certificate. Employees should not be asked to take no-pay leave for the period of self-isolation. Employees may return to the workplace when they get a negative ART result after 72 hours.

Symptomatic (mild or more severe symptoms) and unvaccinated individuals aged 60 years and above should:

  • See a doctor and undergo a PCR test.
  • After testing positive via COVID-19 PCR test, you will be issued an Isolation Order (IO).
  • Most people will be serving the IO under the Home Recovery Programme (HRP).
  • If you are not suitable for HRP, depending on your medical condition, you may be serving your IO at one of the following types of facility.
  • If you are not on HRP, but have not been transferred to a care facility, please stay isolated, and call 6874 4939 to check on the status of your transfer.

Time-bound discharge approach for COVID-19 recovered patients

For fully vaccinated individuals, and children aged 12 years and below:

  • You will be discharged on Day 10. No PCR test required.
  • A discharge memo will be issued to you via SMS on the same day.
  • For unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals above the age of 12:
    • You will automatically be discharged on Day 14. No PCR test is required.
    • A discharge memo will be issued to you via SMS on the same day.