On 26 March 2020, the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 Stay Orders) Regulations 2020 was promulgated by the Singapore Government to curb the increasing numbers of victims and spread of Covid-19.
A. Definition of a Stay Order
To prevent the spread of COVID‑19, a specified person (such as a police officer or a Health Officer) may order (which includes in writing) any at‑risk individual to go to a place of accommodation specified in the order and not leave the place of accommodation for a period specified in the order, starting upon the issue of the order and up to and including the 14th day after the day of the issue of the order.
On the other hand, a person who is issued a medical certificate by a medical practitioner that certifies that he or she has acute respiratory symptoms must not leave the individual’s place of accommodation for a period of 5 days starting on the day the medical certificate is issued.
An “at-risk individual” refers to an individual:
1. who enters Singapore through whatever means during the control period
2. before or during the control period, comes into contact with an individual who is infected or suspected to be infected with COVID-19;
3. before or during the control period, undergone a COVID-19 test swab and the test result is pending or uncertain; or
4. at any time during the control period appears to be exposed to the risk of becoming infected with or a carrier of COVID-19.
The “control period” refers to the period between 26 March 2020 and 4 May 2020 (both dates inclusive) while “place of accommodation” refers to the individual’s residence in Singapore or any other place for the individual’s accommodation in Singapore.
B. Punishment for non-compliance with Stay Order
An individual who, without reasonable excuse, does not comply with the Stay Order or does not remain in his or her place of accommodation for the period of 5 days, is guilty of an offence.
That individual can be sentenced to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or be sent to prison for a term not exceeding 6 months or a combination of both.
A “reasonable excuse” to leave the place of accommodation involves leaving where necessary to obtain medical treatment for a suspected COVID-19 infection at a hospital, medical clinic or any other place that is designated to treat COVID-19 or obtain emergency medical treatment or other medical treatment that is of a pressing nature or with the prior express permission of the Director of Medical Services (which includes a Deputy Director of Medical Services).
C. Measures to be taken by individuals under a Stay Order
The individual imposed with a Stay Order commits an offence if the individual, without reasonable excuse does any of the following:-
1. allows any individual entry into the place of accommodation who is not ordinarily resident in that place of accommodation. However, this does not apply where the other individual is delivering food or other essential goods to the place of accommodation;
2. comes into contact or close proximity with any individual who is not ordinarily resident in that place of accommodation;
3. fails or neglects to wear a mask when the individual leaves the place of accommodation for any of the permitted reasons;
4. fails or neglects to inform the individual’s employer or the principal of the school in which the individual is enrolled as a student or teaches at that the individual is subject to a movement control measure; or
5. does not answer within a reasonable time any call or message sent by or under the authority of the Director of Medical Services (which includes a Deputy Director of Medical Services) or a Health Officer.
Points 1 and 2 above do not apply if the other individual is providing necessary services for the individuals living in that place of accommodation to avoid any imminent danger or damage to life or property in that place of accommodation, or providing medical treatment or other medical therapy or care to an individual who has a physical or mental disability, or is a Health Officer or police officer.
D. Punishment for not complying with measures
The individual would be sentenced to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or be sent to prison for a term not exceeding 6 months or a combination of both.
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