COVID-positive travelers recover in default hotel rooms

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A cleaning lady walks along a hallway of guest rooms at a hotel in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman / AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – Starting Monday, December 20, travelers residing in hotels that test positive for COVID-19 or who are identified as close contact of a COVID case will recover or isolate themselves in their default hotel room .

Currently, the protocol allows affected travelers to notify hotel staff of their positive result, complete a patient details form, and wait for further instructions. The Ministry of Health (MOH) will then assess whether travelers are suitable for in situ recovery or to be transported to a COVID-19 care facility.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a press release on Thursday that from Monday such cases will receive an isolation order (IO) to stay in their accommodation for 10 days (if fully vaccinated) or 14 days. (if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated). They will be automatically unloaded without further testing thereafter.

The IO will replace any testing requirements they may have been through originally, and travelers on IO do not have to leave their rooms to undergo these tests.

Hotel guests who have a place of residence in Singapore and wish to collect at home, can request assistance from hotels to get them to their accommodation. They should not make their own transport arrangements.

Those whose accommodation is not suitable for isolation, who have medical or social conditions that present a higher health risk, or who are seriously ill, will be transferred to an appropriate care facility or hospital for recovery and will not recover. not in their hotel room.

People who do not already reside in hotels and who test positive should not check in at a hotel. If their family environment is not suitable for recovery at home, they should inform the MOH to organize their transfer to an appropriate care facility.

In accordance with current home recovery protocols, telemedicine assistance will also be available to clients recovering in their rooms. Travelers remain responsible for costs associated with recovery, testing and treatment, including any extended stay in hotels or care facilities.

Differentiated approach for Omicron variant cases

For confirmed and suspected cases of the Omicron variant and their close contacts, a differentiated approach will be taken at this time.

These cases will be referred to a designated care and isolation facility for recovery and will not undergo recovery in their hotel rooms. Close contacts of these cases will also be quarantined at a designated facility.

Caregivers may choose to stay in the same accommodation as travelers who test positive and should seek help from their hotel to facilitate this. They will undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests at the start and end of their quarantine.

Protocol for those who test positive for daily ART

Meanwhile, travelers on vaccinated traffic lanes (VTLs) who test positive on one of their mandatory daily rapid antigen tests (ART), as well as those with a travel history within the past 10 days and test positive, must undergo a confirmatory PCR test at a Combined Test Center.

Likewise, travelers who test positive for ART while sending home stay notices should also notify their hotel and undergo a confirmatory PCR test.

These travelers should self-isolate until they receive the results of their confirmatory PCR test. If the results are negative, they can go about their daily activities without further isolation. If they are positive, they must follow the same protocols as travelers in hotels.

Travelers who test positive after completing their NHS and / or mandatory testing regimens should self-isolate where they are for the next 72 hours. If they subsequently test positive, they should repeat their ART at least 24 hours apart and only resume normal activities after the negative result.

Those who receive a health hazard warning (HRW) should immediately self-isolate in their room or place of residence and test themselves with ART for the next seven days. If the test result is negative, they can proceed as normal.

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