As part of the 2-step transition into Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has introduced Fast and Easy Testing (FET). If required, companies will need to implement FET in order to continue running their business.
Here are four things businesses should know about Fast and East Testing (FET) for their employees.
#1 What is Fast and Easy Testing (FET)?
FET is a means for COVID-19 testing, to be done anywhere, quickly and regularly.
MOH has announced that staff working at business venues with unmasked customers must be part of the FET regime. This testing regime is designed to contain the coronavirus spread as Singapore relaxes pandemic curbs in two phases – with the first step from 14 June and the second step from 21 June 2021.
#2 Who Needs To Do FET?
Regardless of vaccination status, all staff who work in settings with unmasked customers or where there is prolonged contact with between individuals will be placed on a regular FET regime. This includes:
- Dine-in F&B establishments
- Personal care and appearance services that require removal of masks (e.g. facial services, saunas, make-up services)
- Gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked
Workers at these locations include cleaners and part-time staff as well. For businesses with administrative staff not working at a separate office location, no FET regime is necessary.
#3 When Does FET Start?
From 21 June onwards, FET testing regime will be progressively rolled out. A 14-day FET requirement for staff who need to be in the programme will be made mandatory around mid-July.
#4 How FET Will be Carried Out?
The FET will be implemented using tests such as the antigen rapid test (ART). Most of the required FET can be done through a system of employer supervise self-swabs (ESSS). This supervision can be done on location or via virtual means, such as video conference. Supervisors for the FET regime will need to undergo a free training programme by the government.
ART kits will also be made available to establishments where staff are required to be placed on the regular FET regime. The government will bear the cost of these kits for 3 months, until 30 September 2021.
Businesses need to onboard ESSS by filling out FET and supervisor registrations at their relevant agency. For example, dine-in F&B establishments should go to the Singapore Food Agency website for this.
For small businesses unable to organise supervised self-swabs on their own, Quick Test Centres (QTCs) will be set up to support those who need to be tested. This started at (as of June 2021) from 10am to 5pm daily and by appointment only:
– Tekka Lane
– Yishun Bus Interchange
– Psri Ris Sports Hall Basement Carpark
– Bishan Sports Hall Basement Car Park
– Jurong West Sports Centre Basement Car Park
#5 Where Can Businesses Get ART Kits?
For the initial 3-month roll-out phase, businesses will be provided with ART test kits for free. Companies can log onto the Go Business Singapore website to register for self-collection. One-month’s supply will be provided each time, and these kits need to be stored in a cool location.
Four ART self-test kits have been authorised in the interim for sale to the general public. They are the Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Antigen Self-test, QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test, SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal and the SD Biosensor Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test.
These kits produce results in less than 20 minutes, and are self-administered. They will be available at the retail pharmacies of Watsons, Guardian and Unity from 16 June. Progressively, more retail locations will sell these kits.
ART kit users who test positive/invalid indicates that they might be infected with COVID-19. You should go for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm if you are infected with COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Employers must call a clinic to make an appointment and confirm that they are able to obtain a confirmatory PCR test during their visit, before heading down to the clinic. Individuals who return a positive/invalid test should travel via private transport (car or taxi) with the windows wound down (switch off air conditioning), and sit alone in the back seat (on the other side of the driver) and wear a surgical mask.
This article was first published on 14 June 2021 and has been updated with the latest information
Power your business with Digital Business Banking Solutions
OCBC Velocity helps you view all your accounts details, comes integrated with E-Invoicing and cash management capabilities as well as access to our award-winning trade financing solutions. Use OCBC Velocity, your business in your hand.
Join The DollarsAndSense Business Community
For more content that helps entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed individuals and learn to build better businesses, join the DollarsAndSense Business Community on Facebook.