Changes To COVID-19 Rules Simplified For You


We liken many things in life to a roller coaster, such as relationships and parenthood. But this metaphor is perhaps most apt for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Except in this roller coaster, you just ate a large meal and the seatbelts aren’t functioning properly.

At some points, case numbers are low and we feel at ease and hopeful, like things could one day return to normal.

But then the next minute we’re flung into the air, screaming and fearing for our lives.

In the past week, new cases in the community have nearly doubled from the week before, prompting the authorities to once again update the current COVID-19 rules.

Here’s a list of all these changes and more, so you don’t get confused.

Public Strongly Encouraged to Limit Social Gatherings to One a Day

Let’s get the worst one out of the way first.

Yesterday (6 Sep), the Ministry of Health (MOH) strongly encouraged all individuals to reduce their “non-essential social activities” for the next two weeks. This was especially important for vulnerable elderly residents or those staying with the elderly, it said.

“We should continue to limit our social circle to a small group of regular contacts and limit ourselves to one social gathering a day, whether to another household or in a public place.”

What’s more, from tomorrow (8 Sep), social gatherings and interactions at workplaces will no longer be permitted.

The authorities noted that recent clusters in workplace settings have formed because of “lax” safe management measures, particularly in canteens and pantries.

Work-From-Home Requirement Required if Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

If any employee has contracted COVID-19 and has returned to the office afterwards, employers must impose a work-from-home requirement over a 14-day period.

Under this requirement, all workers who can telecommute will be obliged to do so.

Of course, those working at home during this period should minimise their social gatherings and only go out for essential activities.

Health Risk Warnings (HRWs) and Health Risk Alerts (HRAs) Will be Issued When New Clusters are Identified

If you’ve been exposed to a newly identified cluster, you will now be issued either an HRW or HRA from the authorities.

An HRW is issued to those who have been in close proximity to a COVID-19 case for a significant period or to close contacts of confirmed cases.


Those who get this warning will be required by law to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result from their first test.

They will then have to undergo an antigen rapid test (ART), as well as another PCR test on the 14th day.

On the other hand, an HRA doesn’t legally require you to get a PCR test, though you are strongly encouraged to get one.

An HRA is sent to people whose SafeEntry records from the past 14 days overlap with those of a confirmed COVID-19 case.

This simply means that you may have been in the same location as a COVID-19 case, and does not necessarily mean that you interacted with them.


Do note that an HRA and HRW are not quarantine orders, and do not have the same requirements. However, those who get these warnings and alerts are still advised to reduce their social interactions for 14 days.

Workers in More Sectors to Undergo Fast and Easy Testing (FET) 

The spate of clusters involving staff at bus interchanges has shown how quickly an infection can spread in a workplace.

This may be why workers in more sectors will now be part of the FET regime. This includes public transport front-line staff and supermarket employees.

The frequency of these tests may also be increased, from once every two weeks to once weekly.

Until the end of 2021, the cost of these tests will be borne by the government.

Other Companies to Get 8 ART Kits Per Employee

As for companies who aren’t subject to mandatory testing, they will be receiving some free gifts from the gahmen.


8 ART kits per employee will be distributed to these companies, so workers can be tested weekly over a two-month period.

These tests can be done at home or at the workplace. Employers should ensure that these tests are carried out properly, though.

Booster Shots For Young Adults?

While nothing has been confirmed yet, the authorities are considering the possibility of giving COVID-19 booster shots to younger adults.

A few days ago, the authorities announced that certain vaccine recipients will be offered a booster shot in the future.

This includes those who are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised, seniors aged 60 and above, and residents of aged care homes.


However, the booster shot you get may be from a different vaccine than the one you took for your earlier doses.

The authorities are still considering both approaches, as they both have their pros and cons.

For seniors, they may be invited to go for their booster shot six to nine months after completing their primary vaccination regimen.

For those who are curious about the different vaccines, you can watch this video here:

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Feature Image: BHG Singapore