SINGAPORE, Aug 14 — Staff members at retail shops in malls and supermarket outlets who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 or have not completed their two-dose shots will have to undergo tests twice a week, along with other groups of workers who have frequent interactions with the general public.
In announcing that it is expanding its “vaccinate or regular test” regime, the Ministry of Health (MoH) also said on Friday (Aug 13) that as of Thursday, 84 per cent of residents aged 60 and above have taken their two vaccine doses, and at least 89 per cent have received one shot.
The ministry also said that vaccination will be made available at more than 60 Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) by the end of August, up from the current 44, so that people will be able to get jabbed more easily.
PHPCs refer to general practitioner clinics that will be activated during a public health emergency.
Besides workers at retail shops in malls and supermarket outlets, the “vaccinate or regular test” regime will be expanded to:
― Taxi and private-hire car drivers
― Couriers delivering to consumers
― Driving school or private driving instructors
― Public transport front-line staff members
This means that workers in these categories who are not yet fully vaccinated, are not vaccinated or medically ineligible for vaccination will be tested for Covid-19 using an antigen rapid test twice a week from October 1 this year.
MoH first announced this regime last Friday and said that it applied to those in the healthcare and eldercare sectors, as well as those in settings with children aged 12 and below.
Those working at Singapore’s borders and other Covid-19 front-line work, as well as staff members working at places where there are interactions in mask-off settings, including food- and-beverage outlets, gyms and fitness studios and personal care services, are also part of the regime.
Although more than 80 per cent of seniors have been vaccinated, MoH said that more than 115,000 seniors aged 60 and above are still not immunised.
“Our PHPCs will allow for better accessibility and convenience for our seniors, and all primary care providers have been called on to help persuade seniors who are their regular patients to go for their Covid-19 vaccination if they are eligible but have not done so yet,” MoH said.
From August 18, all residents in Singapore, including long-term pass holders who are 12 years old and above, will be able to walk into any polyclinic or participating PHPC clinic to get their first dose of the vaccine without making an appointment.
Given that 73 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, MoH said that it will be opening up vaccination to groups of short-term pass holders who are in Singapore for long periods of time. They will be notified from August via phone through Short Message Service. ― TODAY