Thursday, 3 Dec 2020

8 travellers being investigated for making false stay-home notice declarations to S'pore authorities

SINGAPORE – Eight travellers who arrived from South Korea and Thailand this month are being investigated for making false stay-home notice declarations.

Four of them are non-Singaporeans who, if found guilty, may face having their permanent resident status revoked or their re-entry permits and/or passes cancelled.

In a statement on Thursday (Nov 19), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the police said that four Singaporeans, two permanent residents and two long-term pass holders had made the false declarations to avoid serving their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities.

Prior to their arrival here between Nov 5 and Nov 12, the eight had applied to opt out of serving their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities, and to instead serve the notices at their place of residence.

In their applications, they had declared that they would be occupying their place of residence alone, or only with household members with the same travel history and serving stay-home notices of the same duration.

However, between Nov 6 and 13, enforcement officers conducted checks at their declared place of residence and found them residing with household members who were not serving stay-home notices.

The eight travellers were then taken to dedicated stay-home notice facilities.

They are currently under investigation by the police, and may face prosecution.

If found guilty, the ICA and police said they will review the immigration status of the four non-Singaporeans.

The two PRs may have their statuses revoked, while the two long-term pass holders may have their re-entry permits and/or passes cancelled, or shortened.

ICA and the police said that as a precautionary measure “to safeguard public health”, household members who were with the eight, but were not on stay-home notices, have been issued the notices as well.

Currently, those arriving from Fiji, Finland, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey are allowed to opt out of serving their 14-day stay-home notices at dedicated facilities, and to instead serve it at a suitable place of residence if they fulfil two criteria.

First, they must not have travelled to any other country or region apart from the selected countries or regions in the last 14 daysprior to entering Singapore.

Second, the traveller must occupy his or her place of residence alone, or only with household members who share the same travel history and are serving stay-home notices of the same duration.

Those arriving from Macau, Taiwan and Malaysia, excluding Sabah, are also allowed to serve seven day stay-home notices at their own accommodations instead of dedicated facilities.

More on this topic

The ICA has required all travellers serving stay-home notices outside of dedicated facilities to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout their notice period since Aug 11.

ICA and the police warned members of the public to take all health, travel and stay-home notice-related declarations seriously, and to submit truthful and accurate information.

“Firm enforcement action will be taken against those found to have made false declarations,” they added.

Those who make false declarations in seeking to opt out of dedicated stay-home notice facilities are liable to be prosecuted for offences under the Penal Code, the Infectious Diseases Act, or both.

Their offences may carry jail terms, a fine, or both.

Those who fail to comply with stay-home notice requirements, including persons who tamper with and/or remove the electronic monitoring device during their notice period are liable to prosecution under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020.

The penalty for such an offence is up to six months’ jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

For foreigners, ICA or the Ministry of Manpower may take further administrative action, such as revoking or shortening the validity of their permits or passes to remain in or work in Singapore.

Members of the public can give information about anyone who fails to comply with stay-home notice requirements to ICA at the website or on 6812-5555.

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