Issued on 1 October 2021

 

 

 

1.   To expand our vaccine coverage further and to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19, all enterprises providing the following services within the Arts and Culture sector

 

(1)          dance, voice, and theatre training (including speech and drama, actor training), singing and wind/brass instruments instruction activities; and

(2)          arts education instruction activities with children aged 12 and below.

 

are required to implement the Vaccinate or Regular Test (“VoRT”) regime with effect from 1 October 2021.

 

2.   Enterprises implementing the VoRT regime must ensure that all their employees and persons who work under their direction (e.g. contractors and subcontractors) are “Fully Vaccinated” or undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week if they are not.

 

3.   Please refer to the enclosed notification (“VoRT Notice”) for more details on the obligations of enterprises that are required to implement the VoRT regime.

 

 

Support for Enterprises

 

4.   Enterprises should conduct Employer Supervised Self Swab (“ESSS”) for persons who are required to undergo testing twice a week under the VoRT regime. ESSS involves having these persons use an Antigen Rapid Test (“ART”) kit to carry out a swab on themselves under the supervision of a trained supervisor. The enclosed VoRT Notice explains further details on how ESSS should be conducted.

 

5.   To support enterprises that are conducting ESSS, the Government will bear the costs of training required by supervisors through 31 December 2021.

 

6.   The Government will also give further support for enterprises that conduct ESSS by providing ART test kits to enterprises for persons who have been certified by a medical practitioner in Singapore as medically ineligible to receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and are still required to undergo testing twice a week under the VoRT regime  (“Medically Ineligible Worker(s)” or “MIW(s)”). Enterprises should verify a person’s status as a MIW by checking against the original certification or memo that was issued to that person by a medical practitioner in Singapore or the SMS notification sent to that person. The Government’s provision of ART test kits to enterprises for these MIWs will continue through 31 December 2021. For avoidance of doubt, all other persons who are not Fully Vaccinated are ineligible for these Government-provided ART test kits and enterprises should make arrangements to comply with the requirements set out in the VoRT Notice.

 

7.   To place an order for ART test kits for MIWs, enterprises should submit the relevant information using the Order Form found at http://www.go.gov.sg/nacfetvortorder by 19 September 2021  (“Order Form”). Enterprises that carry out their businesses across multiple premises (e.g. outlets) should submit a separate Order Form for each premise[1]. Enterprises must not distribute, supply or sell the ART test kits provided by the Government to any third party. Information submitted in the Order Form will also be used by NAC to help Businesses set up an SRS account. Once the SRS account has been set up, your Point-of-Contact (POC) will receive an email notification informing them about the creation of the SRS account.

 

8.   The costs for the services and ART test kits that will be used at the Quick Test Centres will also be borne by the Government for MIWs through 31 December 2021.

 

 

Support from Enterprises

 

9.   The fight against COVID-19 requires the collective effort of everyone in the community. We seek the support and understanding of all Enterprises during this period. We will continue to review and adjust the measures in line with the national posture for the health and well-being of the public and employees.

 

10.  For clarifications on the VoRT regime in the Arts and Culture Sector, contact National Arts Council via RRT@NAC.gov.sg.

 

[1] For enterprises with multiple outlets under the same UEN, you may submit your request to create multiple SRS company accounts under the same UEN. However, there must be a unique mobile number and email address used for each account. Enterprises without a UEN can indicate their NRIC in the UEN field instead.  

  VACCINATE OR REGULAR TEST REGIME FOR THE ARTS & CULTURE SECTOR  

 

1.   With effect from 1 October 2021, all enterprises providing the following services in the Arts and Culture sector[1] (the “Covered Services”): (1) dance, voice, and theatre training (including speech and drama, actor training), singing and wind/brass instruments instruction activities; and (2) arts education instruction activities with children aged 12 and below (“Enterprises”), are required to implement the Vaccinate or Regular Test (“VoRT”) regime. Enterprises must comply with the mandatory requirements that are set out in this notice. For avoidance of doubt, the mandatory requirements are specified in the paragraphs below prefaced with the words ‘[Mandatory]’

 

 

Background

 

2.   The purpose of the VoRT regime is to increase the vaccination rate among the selected sectors and to empower Enterprises to detect possible infections among unvaccinated persons, so as to keep their workplaces and community safe.

 

3.   Under the VoRT regime, Enterprises are required to ensure that all their employees[2] and persons who work under their direction[3] (including those in non-public facing roles) within premises where the Covered Services at provided at (“Workers”), are Fully Vaccinated or undergo regular testing if they are not. The VoRT regime will apply concurrently with any existing Polymerase Chain Reaction Rostered Routine Testing (“PCR RRT”) or Fast and Easy Testing Rostered Routine Testing (“FET RRT”) regime that these persons are currently subject to (see paragraph 7 below for more details).

 

4.   The VoRT regime and the mandatory requirements set out in this notice are imposed on Enterprises under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020. Failure to comply with the requirements set out herein may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations. Checks will be conducted by enforcement teams to verify if Enterprises have complied with the mandatory requirements set out in this notice.

 

 

VoRT Requirements for Enterprises

 

5.   [Mandatory] All Enterprises must ensure that all their Workers (as defined in paragraph 3 above) are (A) Fully Vaccinated (as defined in paragraph 8 below) or (B) undergo a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (“PCR”) or COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (“ART”)[4] twice a week (“VoRT Requirement”) and on separate days within that week. For the avoidance of doubt, if an Enterprise consists of only one self-employed person, he or she has to comply with the VoRT Requirement as well.

 

6.   Enterprises should guide their Workers who are not Fully Vaccinated to maintain a 3 to 4 day interval between their weekly tests (e.g. if a Worker’s first test of the week is carried out on Tuesday, his or her second test of the week should be carried out on Saturday or Sunday).

 

7.   Enterprises whose Workers are subject to existing PCR RRT or FET RRT regimes can recognise any PCR test or ART undergone by those Workers under those regimes during a given week as counting towards the Enterprises’ testing requirement for those Workers (if they are not Fully Vaccinated) under the VoRT Requirement for that same week. For example, if an Enterprise has a Worker who is not Fully Vaccinated that underwent a PCR test as part of the RRT regime once during a week, the Enterprise is allowed to recognise that Worker’s PCR test as satisfying one of the two weekly testing requirements for that Worker under the VoRT Requirement.

 

8.   For the purposes of the VoRT Requirement and this notice, a Worker is considered to be “Fully Vaccinated” for the periods set out in the third column of Table 1 below if he or she fulfils the relevant requirements for those periods as set out in the corresponding second columns.

 

Table 1: Fully Vaccinated

Category

Requirement(s)

Period

1.   Vaccinated with no prior history of COVID-19 infection

  1. Individual must not have had a history of COVID-19 infection;
  2. Individual must have been vaccinated against a COVID-19 infection by the administration of the appropriate regimen of any approved vaccine[5]; and
  3. 14 days or more have elapsed after the day the individual was so vaccinated.

Starting 14 days after the day the individual was so vaccinated and ending 365 days later. 

2.   Recovered from COVID-19 infection without prior vaccination

  1. Individual must not have been vaccinated against COVID-19 infection; and
  2. Individual must have recovered from COVID-19 infection.

Starting the day the individual first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via a PCR test and ending 270 days later.

  1. Individual must not have been vaccinated against COVID-19 infection; and
  2. Individual must have recovered from COVID-19 infection; and
  3. Individual had a second COVID-19 infection and recovered from it.

Starting the day the individual first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 upon via a PCR test for the second COVID-19 infection and ending 270 days later.

3.   Recovered from COVID-19 infection and subsequently vaccinated

  1. Individual must have recovered from COVID-19 infection
  2. Individual must have been vaccinated against a COVID-19 infection by the administration of one dose of either (1) Tozinameran (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine) or (2) the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore; and
  3. 14 days or more have elapsed after the day the individual was so vaccinated. 

Starting 14 days after the day the individual was so vaccinated and ending 365 days later.

 

 

9.   [Mandatory] When verifying if a Worker is Fully Vaccinated, Enterprises shall:

1.  only recognise the proofs of vaccination as set out in Annex A; and

2.  regard Workers who decline or are unable to produce the proofs of vaccination as set out in Annex A as being not Fully Vaccinated for the purposes of the VoRT Requirement and this notice.

 

 

10.  [Mandatory] If a Worker is not Fully Vaccinated and has undergone PCR/ART as part of the Enterprises’ VoRT Requirement, Enterprises shall verify[7] that Worker’s PCR/ART test result.

 

11.  Where the Worker has obtained an “AG+” test result, Enterprises are strongly recommended to guide the Worker to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/.

 

12.  To meet the twice weekly testing requirements for Workers that are not Fully Vaccinated under the VoRT Requirement, Enterprises should conduct Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (“ESSS”) for their Workers. Details on how to conduct ESSS are set out in paragraphs 14 to 20 below.

 

13.  For small businesses and freelancers who are not able to organise their own ESSS, they may work with their appointed Sector Lead to go to the Quick Test Centres (“QTC(s)”) for their tests.

 

Requirements for Enterprises that conduct ESSS

 

14.  ESSS involves Workers using an ART kit and performing a swab on themselves under the supervision of a trained supervisor (“Supervisor”). The swabbing and supervision can be done either at the workplace or virtually using digital tools such as video conferencing. 

 

15.  [Mandatory] Enterprises conducting ESSS for their Workers shall:

  1. appoint an adequate number of Supervisors to supervise every Worker whenever they carry out the swabs on themselves;
  2. ensure that the Supervisor has satisfied the training requirements set out under paragraph 16 below and properly performs his supervisory role[8];
  3. ensure that Workers comply with the steps set out in paragraph 19 below and properly perform the swabs on themselves;
  4. ensure that the test results obtained by Workers from ESSS are uploaded on the Swab Registration System (“SRS”) in accordance with the requirements set out under paragraph 20 below;
  5. ensure that the ART test kits used for ESSS are those that are set out on the Health Sciences Authority’s website at https://www.hsa.gov.sg/consumer-safety/articles/ covid19_ ARTselftests  

 

15A.  Where Workers have obtained ‘AG+’ test results while conducting ESSS, Enterprises are recommended to strongly encourage them to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/.

 

 

Training for Supervisors

 

16.  [Mandatory] Enterprises conducting ESSS shall ensure that their Supervisors have attended the 4-hour virtual Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab that is conducted by MOH’s appointed training provider, HMI Institute of Health Sciences Pte. Ltd. (“HMI”) before they perform their supervisory role. If a Supervisor is above 50 years old, Enterprises must ensure that he or she is Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19[9] (refer to paragraph 8 for the definition of Fully Vaccinated) before they can perform any supervisory role.

 

17.  Enterprises conducting ESSS are advised to nominate at least two Workers per outlet to undergo training to be a Supervisor. The training provided by HMI will equip Supervisors with the knowledge needed to supervise the conduct ESSS and a certificate of attendance will be issued to those who have completed it. The training provided by HMI is carried out daily from (a) 8am to 12pm, (b) 2pm to 6pm and (c) 6pm to 10pm on a first-come-first-served basis. Enterprises are advised to book their training slot directly with HMI at VirtualCampus (wizlearn.com)  as soon as possible.

 

18.  Upon successful registration and confirmation of the course, HMI will send an email notification with the web link for supervisors to attend the virtual training session.  Please visit HMI’s website at https://hmi-ihs.com/supervisory-training-in-art-self-swab/ for latest details on the ESSS training.

 

 

Conduct of ESSS by Workers

 

19.  [Mandatory] Enterprises are required to ensure that their Workers shall:

  1. be supervised[10] by a Supervisor whenever they carry out ESSS;
  2. use new ART test kits whenever they carry out ESSS; and
  3. properly dispose of used ART test kits after they have carried out ESSS[11].

 

19A.  Where Workers have obtained an “AG+” test result while conducting ESSS, Enterprises are recommended to strongly encourage them to undertake a follow-up ART test and to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/.

 

 

Uploading of Test Results onto the Swab Registration System (“SRS”)

 

20.  [Mandatory] Enterprises are required to upload the test results obtained by their Workers from ESSS onto SRS in accordance with the following:

  1. if the test result is “AG+”, Enterprises are to upload the test result of that Worker onto SRS no later than 30 minutes after the ESSS for that specific Worker is completed;
  2. if the test result is “AG-”, Enterprises are to upload the test result of that Worker no later than 24 hours after the ESSS for that specific Worker is completed; and
  3. the requirements set out under paragraphs 4 to 6 of Annex B.

 

21.  More details on how enterprises can register for an SRS account at http://www.go.gov.sg/nacfetvortorder.

 

 

[1] Enterprises include self-employed persons and businesses.

[2] This includes both full and part time employees, such as full-time office assistants and part-time instructors.

[3] This includes contractors, subcontractors, employees of contractors and subcontractors who work at the workplace (e.g. cleaners). This also includes business owners such as sole proprietors and partners.

[4] The ART test must be carried out (1) by an approved test provider under the Infectious Diseases (Antigen Rapid Test Providers); (2) via ESSS (refer to paragraphs 14 to 21 below); or (3) by a QTC (refer to paragraph 13 below). For avoidance of doubt, unsupervised self-swabs by Workers are not recognised.

[5] These are limited to: (1) Tozinameran (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine); (2) Moderna COVID-19 vaccine; (3) Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine); (4) Covishield COVID-19 vaccine; (5) Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen COVID-19 vaccine; (6) Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine; (7) Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine; or (8) any other vaccine regimen as approved by the Ministry of Health (“MOH”). Where the individual is vaccinated under (3) to (8), their vaccination records must have been ingested into MOH’s national IT systems before they will be recognised. Please refer to the First Schedule of the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Regulations 2021) for the most updated information on the vaccination regimen and approved vaccines. 

[6] Please refer to footnote S/N.8. [note that this refers to the preceding footnote that indicates the lists of vaccines.]

[7] Enterprises are required to inspect any physical test result slip, SMS or test kit evidencing the test result of the Worker. It would not be sufficient for Enterprises to rely on oral statements by Workers to fulfill this obligation.

[8] This includes wearing adequate personal protective equipment and maintaining appropriate infection prevention control procedures while conducting supervision.

[9] Enterprises can consider asking Supervisors to verify their vaccination status via TraceTogether.

[10] This can be done in person or virtually.

[11] Used test kits should be double-bagged and tied before disposing them in closed bins (e.g. pedal bins).

 

 

 

  Annexes appended for more information  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated as of 16 September 2021