Covid-19: Fine & jail term for those who breach SHN measures in S'pore

The government is also ramping up efforts to enforce the measures.

Andrew Koay | March 24, 2020, 08:04 PM

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reminded Singaporeans that breaches of measures aimed at containing Covid-19 could result in jail, fines, or both.

In a press release on Mar. 24, MOH said that it will be promulgating regulations under the Infectious Diseases Act to give legal force to safe-distancing measures and to provide enhanced penalties for breaches of stay home notices (SHN).

Penalties for breaches of the SHN are:

  • A fine of less than S$10,000,
  • less than six months in jail,
  • or both

MOH said that persons and operators found to be flouting the regulations may be served with a temporary suspension of operations.

Stricter measures safe-distancing measures were also announced on Mar. 24, to come into effect from Mar. 26, 11:59pm.

These measures will limit gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer, and ensure that physical distancing of at least one metre can be achieved in settings where interactions are non-transient.

Tightening enforcement

In addition, government agencies will be stepping up their enforcement efforts against persons on SHN.

This includes using a combination of mobile applications, phone surveillance, and house visits to ensure that individuals really are staying at home.

More officers will also be diverted towards conducting such checks.

SHNs require individuals to remain at their places of residence at all times, even barring them from leaving the house to purchase food and essentials.

The government had previously announced that all Singapore residents and long term pass holders returning from overseas will have to serve a 14-day SHN.

The only exception to the new measure — which took effect on Mar. 23 at 11:59pm — would be travellers returning from Hubei, China, who have to serve a 14-day quarantine instead.

On Mar. 21, the Ministry of Manpower said that it had revoked the work passes of 16 individuals who breached their SHN or leave-of-absence requirements.

These 16 workers were permanently banned from working in Singapore.

MOH also announced on Mar. 24, that a centralised call centre would be set up from Mar. 26 to provide expeditious support to individuals serving SHNs.

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Top photo by Andrea Ang via Unsplash