1. General Practitioner (GP) clinics have reported a surge in the number of patients they see, with many with no or mild symptoms visting clinics just to obtain a letter or memo certifying they have recovered from COVID-19 infection, to support their return to work or to school. These visits are not necessary, and risk compromising the standard of care for other patients who genuinely require medical attention.
2. Under today’s health protocols, persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection with an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) are to self-isolate at home for at least 72 hours, and if they are well, they may exit isolation to resume normal activities once they test negative on their self-administered ART. They do not need a letter or memo from doctors to certify they have recovered from COVID-19 in order to return to work or to school, including pre-school and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).
3. Employers and employees are advised to familiarise themselves with the COVID-19 health protocols. Employers should not ask for recovery memos upon return. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 (either through self-test or at a GP clinic) should immediately inform their employers and not return to the workplace, in order to prevent the virus from spreading. Those who are well should be allowed to work from home if they are able to do so. If they are unable to work from home, their employers should treat the period of absence as paid sick leave without requiring a medical certificate (MC) from the employees.
4. For employees who are on Protocol 2, they may self-administer ART after at least 72 hours of isolation. If they are feeling well and test negative, employers should allow them to return to the workplace without requiring any further recovery memo or medical assessment from a doctor. Sharing of the self-test ART results or on-site ART administration can serve as alternatives.
5. Similarly, students and staff who contracted COVID-19, or are issued with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or Health Risk Warning (HRW) will not have to obtain a recovery memo from their doctors, before returning to school. This applies to students and staff in preschools, Early Intervention centres, the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, Special Education (SPED) schools, junior colleges (JCs)/Millennia Institute (MI), as well as IHLs.
6. To ensure a safer learning environment for everyone, it is important that we all exercise personal responsibility to monitor our own health and the health of our children and family members closely. A student can return to school once he or she feels well, and test negative for COVID-19 after at least 72 hours of self-isolation.