Sunday, 9 May 2021

Govt agencies working with hotels to build up SHN capacity

SINGAPORE – More hotel rooms could be used as stay-home notice (SHN) facilities as the authorities extend the SHN period for travellers from higher-risk places from 14 to 21 days.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force handling Covid-19, said government agencies are engaging with hotels to build up sufficient capacity for these needs as tightened border control measures go into force on Friday just before midnight.

The authorities announced on Tuesday (May 4) that due to the worsening global situation, all travellers with recent travel history to higher-risk countries or regions will be required to serve a 21-day SHN at dedicated facilities, up from 14.

The minister was responding to a question during a press conference on whether directives have been given to hotels to cancel staycations that have already been booked. He said government agencies overseeing SHN facilities are currently engaging hotels.

“The key requirement, though, is not just about the hotels saying they are interested in doing SHN, but we are also making sure that all the stringent requirements – the precautions, the security measures, the control measures are in place before new hotels come forward to serve as SHN facilities.”

The Health Ministry’s director of medical services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, added that some hotels might also be used to accommodate healthcare staff working additional hours who want to avoid going home during this period.

The ministry is working with some hotel groups and Tan Tock Seng Hospital to support staff who have indicated that they need some other place to stay, he said.

“They want to have some peace of mind knowing that they can perhaps stay away from the rest of the family members out of an abundance of caution, not because they have an increased risk to them, but really to give their own family members some peace of mind.”

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