The safety and well-being of NTU students, faculty, staff and visitors is the University's top priority. Since January 2020, the University has put in place various precautionary measures to safeguard our community against COVID-19.
NTU takes a Responsible Community approach in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Being collectively responsible for the implementation of the precautionary measures in our community is important to our ability to keep our community safe and healthy.
We will continue to monitor the situation, take guidance from government authorities, and adjust our measures needed in the days ahead.
Let us all continue to stay safe, remain vigilant and work together to protect the well-being and health of our NTU community.
Important precautionary measures we must all observe:
All large-group lectures will be delivered online. Tutorials, seminars and lab sessions will generally be conducted in-person. Lectures, tutorials, seminars and lab sessions will progressively transition to be conducted fully in-person once the COVID-19 situation stabilises and where permitted by national public health guidelines.
FAQs on COVID-19
Employees' Business and Official Travel
1. Which are the countries/cities where essential business travel is allowed?
a) Singapore-China Fast Lane for Essential Travel
The Singapore-China Fast Lane between six Chinese provinces and municipalities (Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang) and Singapore, is open to Singapore and China residents who need to make essential business or official trips between the two countries.
b) Singapore-Malaysia Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL)
The RGL enables cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between Singapore and Malaysia, and travellers must submit to the relevant authorities an itinerary and adhere to this controlled itinerary during their visit. This covers travel between Singapore and Malaysia via airports in Singapore and Malaysia that have available non-stop flight routes, and land checkpoints.
c) Singapore-Malaysia Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA)
The PCA allows for Malaysia Citizens and Malaysia Permanent Residents (PRs) with valid Singapore work passes to travel between Singapore and Malaysia via the land border crossings at the Woodlands or Tuas Checkpoints ONLY. Under the PCA, eligible work pass holders should remain in Singapore for at least 90 days before returning to Malaysia for home leave. They may thereafter re-enter Singapore to continue work, where they must stay for at least another three consecutive months before returning to Malaysia again. Work pass holders approved under the PCA scheme will serve at least 7-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and undertake a COVID-19 PCR test upon their return to Singapore.
d) Travel to Brunei
The Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Air Travel Pass (ATP) schemes address the needs of different groups of cross-border travellers between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.
The RGL enables short-term cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries. Travellers under the RGL scheme are required to comply with the applicable terms and conditions, including undergoing pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests, abiding by a pre-declared controlled itinerary during their visit, and downloading and using TraceTogether for their entire period of stay.
The ATP scheme enables short-term visitors from Brunei Darussalam entry into Singapore. Short-term visitors under the ATP scheme are required to apply for an ATP, and comply with the conditions of the ATP. These include undergoing a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Singapore, in lieu of a Stay-Home Notice (SHN), and downloading and using TraceTogether for their entire period of stay.
e) Travel from New Zealand
On 21 August 2020, Singapore announced the lifting of border restrictions to allow entry of visitors travelling from New Zealand. Foreigners who are short-term visitors travelling from New Zealand may seek entry into Singapore by applying for an Air Travel Pass.
Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents, and Singapore Long-Term Pass holders are not required to apply for an Air Travel Pass to travel to Singapore from New Zealand. However, Singapore Long-Term Pass holders will still have to seek entry approval from the relevant Singapore Government agencies before travelling to Singapore.
f) Travel to Republic of Korea (ROK)
On 2 September 2020, Singapore and the Republic of Korea (ROK) agreed to implement the Fast Lane for essential business and official travel between Singapore and the ROK.
The SafeTravel Pass is a mandatory document for in-bound travellers for essential business and official travel from the ROK to Singapore via the Singapore-ROK Fast Lane.
The Fast Lane arrangement is open to all residents of the ROK and Singapore. Persons travelling on the Fast Lane to/from the ROK will be required to enter/exit only through Seoul (Incheon International Airport) at this juncture
Please refer to the ICA SafeTravel website for the latest information for all destination countries. All travellers must abide by the prevailing COVID-19 prevention and public health measures of all destination countries.
2. What are the key criteria for essential business or official travel?
Essential business or official travel is intended for when the employee's physical presence is absolutely necessary with no viable alternatives to in-person attendance (e.g. virtual meetings). Employees must obtain upfront approval from the Provost, SVPR or SVPA, via their respective Deans/HODs/Research Centre Directors. The request for approval must include the necessary supporting documents (e.g. letter of invitation from host organisation), together with an explanation of the reasons for essential travel.
3. What is the approval process before making an essential business or official trip?
NTU employees who wish to make an essential business or official trip must seek upfront approval from the University's Provost, Senior Vice-President (Research) or Senior Vice-President (Administration), with the support of the reporting officer, Deans/HODs/Research Centre Directors and Chief HR Officer (see flow chart below).
The employee must also be sponsored by either a company or a government agency in the destination country, which will file an application on behalf of the applicant with the local authorities. If the application is approved, an invitation will be issued to the applicant. For travel to China, the approved NTU employee will thereafter apply for a visa from the PRC Embassy in Singapore, as well as submit a health declaration to the Chinese authorities.
Visit the ICA SafeTravel website for more information.
4. What are the approval process and health measures to follow before making an essential business or official trip to Malaysia?
NTU employees who wish to make an essential business or official trip to Malaysia must seek prior approval from the University's Provost, Senior Vice-President (Research) or Senior Vice-President (Administration), with the support of the reporting officer, Deans/HODs/Research Centre Directors and Chief HR Officer (see flow chart below).
The NTU employee must also be sponsored by either a company or a government agency in Malaysia, which will file an application on behalf of the applicant on the MyTravelPass website (http://mtp.imi.gov.my/) at least 10 working days before the departure date.
The traveller should work with his/her local host company or government agency to verify that he/she has fulfilled the RGL requirements of the Malaysian authorities prior to departure for Malaysia. This includes taking a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test and obtaining a negative test result within 72 hours before departure, and remaining in Singapore for at least 14 days prior to departure. Besides taking a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test and obtaining a negative test result within 72 hours before departure, this may also include other requirements.
Visit the ICA SafeTravel website for more information.
5. What are the health measures that an NTU employee needs to follow before departure to China?
Once the essential travel has been approved, the employee must monitor their health status before departure, take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours before departure and obtain a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19. NTU will bear the cost of the pre-departure PCR test.
6. What are the health measures that an NTU employee needs to follow upon arrival in China?
An approved employee travelling from Singapore to China will undergo a PCR test and serology test after arrival in China (reimbursable), and remain in locations designated by the local provincial or municipal government for one to two days until the COVID-19 test result is released. If the NTU employee has tested negative for COVID-19, the host company or government agency will transport him/her directly to the host's workplace or residence. If the NTU employee has tested positive for COVID-19, he/she will undergo medical treatment in China at NTU/GTI's cost. NTU employees must use China's local Health QR code for the duration of their stay in China.
The approved NTU employee must strictly adhere to the official itinerary that is supervised by the host company or government agency. They may not use public transportation for this purpose, except private hire cars/taxis or cohorted company transport.
7. Can an NTU employee make a personal trip to other parts of China after completing the essential business or official component of the trip?
Approval will only be granted for essential business travel to China for up to 14 days. Any NTU employee who wishes to undertake personal travel to China will be required to undertake the trip separately, in line with the prevailing travel advisories and restrictions.
8. What must an NTU employee do upon return to Singapore from China?
To facilitate their arrival immigration clearance at Changi Airport, travellers must show a copy of the invitation letter issued by the PRC Embassy in Singapore confirming that the traveller was granted approval by the relevant authorities to travel to China via the fast lane and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained 48 hours prior to departure from China.
MOM approval is not required for travellers to enter Singapore from China via the Fast Lane.
They can be exempted from the prevailing SHN regulations if they:
Undertake a COVID-19 PCR test at their own cost at accredited laboratories, clinics and hospitals within 48 hours prior to their departure from China, and obtain a negative test result prior to their departure; and
Undertake a COVID-19 PCR test at Changi Airport at their own cost, and remain in isolation until they are notified of a negative test result. Travellers are strongly encouraged to pre-register and make advance payment for the PCR test to minimise processing time at the airport.
If the above conditions are not met, travellers will be subjected to the prevailing health and SHN regulations. Such tests arising from official trips would be reimbursable by the University.
9. What must an NTU employee do upon return to Singapore from Malaysia?
Travellers are required to produce a valid SafeTravel Pass approval letter (the date of entry must fall within the period of entry stated in the letter), a visa to enter Singapore (for visa-required passport holders who are short-term visitors to Singapore), and a certificate showing negative result for a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure for Singapore, at the pre-boarding check and immigration counter. The certificate must be from a laboratory accredited by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
MOM approval is not required for travellers holding a valid SafeTravel Pass for Singapore-Malaysia PCA and RGL.
Travellers using the Singapore-Malaysia RGL can be exempted from the prevailing SHN regulations if they:
Undertake a COVID-19 PCR test at their own cost at accredited laboratories, clinics and hospitals within 72 hours prior to their departure from Malaysia, and obtain a negative test result prior to their departure; and
Undertake a COVID-19 PCR test at airport/checkpoint at their own cost upon arrival in Singapore, and remain in isolation until they are notified of a negative test result. Air travellers are strongly encouraged to pre-register and make advance payment for the PCR test to minimise processing time at the airport.
10. I was previously commuting daily from Malaysia. Can I return to Malaysia and work from home there?
Under current circumstances, all employees are required to live and work in Singapore. Employees must also be able to return to campus to support on-campus operations at any time. Employees are advised to speak to their supervisors directly if they face any difficulties, so that they can work out a solution together.
Students' Overseas Travel & International Students
11. Can I travel back to my home country or out of Singapore during this period?
Given the dynamic border control measures, students are advised to consider the travel advisories, border controls, quarantine and COVID-19 tests requirements before making any personal travel decisions. These requirements are subject to change by the respective governments at little or no notice.
Student who choose to travel out of Singapore are advised to consult their respective schools on the possible impact to their studies should they not be able to return to Singapore in a timely manner, and will be required to sign a Letter of Acknowledgement and Undertaking recognising the following consequences, and to seek the concurrence of the School Chair:
Upon re-entry to Singapore, the prevailing Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and COVID-19 testing costs will need to be borne in full by the student. This applies to all students, regardless of their nationality.
Students who departed from Singapore after 27 Mar 2020 despite the prevailing national travel advisory, and those who have left or are planning to leave Singapore 7 Aug 2020 under permitted travel arrangements, will no longer qualify for subsidised SHN stay nor subsidised in-patient stay in public hospitals. The unsubsidised rate for 14 days' stay at a dedicated SHN facility ranges from $1,000 if the student is assigned to a shared room, to $1,500 for a single room. In addition, students will also need to pay for COVID-19 testing costs of up to $300 per test. SHN and COVID-19 testing costs are NOT covered by NTU Group Hospitalisation and Surgical Insurance (GHSI).
12. What is the Singapore Government's charging policy for the Stay Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities, post-SHN Swab test and medical expenses?
The Singapore Government's charging policy for the Stay Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities, post-SHN Swab test and medical expenses depends on considerations such as the traveller's nationality/pass type, and the date of departure from Singapore.
Please see this Gov.sg website for more information.
13. Do students qualify for the Singapore-China Fast Lane or the Singapore-Malaysia RGL and PCA for essential travel?
Students currently DO NOT qualify for the Singapore-China Fast Lane and Singapore-Malaysia RGL. These schemes are for essential business and official purposes only.
The PCA applies only to Malaysia Citizens and Malaysia Permanent Residents (PRs) with valid Singapore work passes who have remained in Singapore for at least 90 days before returning to Malaysia for home leave.
14. Do students qualify for the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Air Travel Pass (ATP) schemes between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore?
Students currently DO NOT qualify for the RGL and ATP schemes with Brunei.
The RGL enables short-term cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries, while the ATP scheme enables short-term visitors from Brunei Darussalam entry into Singapore.
15. Are students allowed to travel to New Zealand under the Air Travel Pass Scheme?
No, the Air Travel Pass scheme only applies to foreigners who are short-term visitors travelling from New Zealand who are seeking entry into Singapore.
16. Do students qualify for the Singapore-Republic of Korea (ROK) Fast Lane Scheme?
Students currently DO NOT qualify for the Singapore-ROK Fast Lane scheme, which is for essential business and official purposes only.
17. If I am able to secure MOE entry approval and return to Singapore, will I be able to serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in Graduate Hall 1 (GH1)? Do I have to pay for my stay in GH1 for SHN?
Students can no longer serve Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in Graduate Hall 1 (GH1). From 1 October 2020, MOE-managed hostels, including NTU residential halls, will no longer be available for SHN. Depending on the countries/regions from which students are returning from, they are required to pay $1,500 for their 14-day SHN at government dedicated facilities (SDF) or serve 7-day SHN at an approved residence or hotel accommodation that is estimated to cost $700 or more. In addition, students are required to pay for a swab test during SHN which will cost up to $200.
Students returning from countries for which a PCR test is done on arrival at Changi Airport, in place of SHN, would have to pay $300 for the test and will receive the test result within 48 hours. They are required to stay in their long term accommodation and minimise contact with others. They can go about their activities only after being notified of their negative test results.
Students who departed from Singapore after 27 March 2020 despite the prevailing national travel advisory, and those who have left or are planning to leave Singapore 7 August 2020 under permitted travel arrangements, will no longer qualify for subsidised SHN stay nor subsidised in-patient stay in public hospitals. SHN and COVID-19 testing costs are NOT covered by NTU Group Hospitalisation and Surgical Insurance (GHSI).
Please refer to the ICA website for Singapore's measures for inbound travellers in relation to COVID-19: https://www.ica.gov.sg/covid-19/arrivalsg. (Note: STP holders are considered as long term pass holders.)
Safe Management Measures
18. Why is NTU implementing the SafeEntry system?
The University is implementing SafeEntry with effect from 18 May 2020, to comply with the Government's Safe Management Measures. SafeEntry is the national digital check-in system that logs individuals' entry into and exit from a venue to facilitate contact tracing. This will be enforced at all workplaces until further notice.
19. At which locations will the SafeEntry system be implemented?
Entry to the North and South academic complexes, office buildings and facilities on the main NTU campus, including NIE, the Novena and one-North campuses, will be limited to designated entry and exit points where SafeEntry and temperature scanning stations have been set up. See the list of SafeEntry points .
20. Will I need to scan my NRIC or can I scan the SafeEntry QR code using my handphone?
Both modes of entry will be available. All employees, students and visitors will be required to scan the SafeEntry QR code using their mobile phones or their NRIC at these manned entry and exit points.
21. Why do I still need to check-in using the NTU QR code check-in system?
To facilitate more precise contact tracing should the need arise, everyone will be required to check-in using the existing NTU QR code check-in system before they enter specific venues within buildings, such as tutorial rooms, laboratories, offices and meeting rooms.
22. Many of the entrances and exits to buildings and facilities are now cordoned off. Is this really necessary?
Whilst these measures may cause some inconvenience, for example, some may need to take a longer route than usual to reach their destination, they are necessary to allow the University and the Ministry of Health to quickly identify affected individuals in the event that contact tracing is required. We seek everyone's cooperation to comply with these measures, which are part of the national effort to contain the community spread of COVID-19.
Sports and group activities
23. What are the precautionary measures in place on the use of the University's sports facilities?
All users of sports and recreational facilities are to adhere to NTU's safe management measures, which are aligned to the Sport Singapore's advisory for Phase 2. All users are to observe the following:
24. Are team sports such as basketball and soccer allowed ?
Group activities are limited to no more than five participants and if there is more than one group sharing a space, the groups should not interact with each other and must be at least 3 metres apart. This is in line with Sport Singapore's advisory for Phase 2. All users are also strongly advised not to socialise at the sports facilities, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
25. Are campus residents allowed to self-organise large group activities in the halls or at sports facilities?
In line with national advisories on safe management measures, only small-group social gatherings of up to five persons are allowed to resume under the current government guidelines for Phase 2. Activities that involve large numbers of people who come into close contact for a prolonged time period are prohibited.
Health and medical matters
26. What precautions can I take to protect myself from COVID-19?
Please follow the Ministry of Health's updates (https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19) to remain vigilant, and adopt good personal hygiene practices at all times:
All travellers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore and seek medical attention immediately if you feel unwell. Travellers should inform their doctor of their travel history. If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, shortness of breath), you should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.
27. Must I wear a mask?
As of 14 April, you are required to wear a mask if you need to leave your house or residence. It is also compulsory to wear a mask on public transport, and when visiting supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and shopping malls.
You may remove your mask only when engaging in strenuous exercise outdoors, such as running and jogging, but you must put it back on once you have completed your exercise.
If you have a respiratory tract infection, such as cough or flu, it also helps prevent the droplets from being passed into the air when you cough or sneeze.
A surgical mask should be discarded after use and under no circumstances should it be used for more than one day. Replace the mask immediately if it is damaged or soiled.
It is also important to observe good personal hygiene:
28. I would like to seek medical attention as I have a cough and runny nose and have recently travelled overseas to a place with confirmed cases of COVID-19 pneumonia. Should I go to the University Medical Centre or do I have to go to a hospital A&E?
If you have recently travelled overseas, and are feeling unwell with a fever, or respiratory symptoms (such as cough, runny nose), please seek medical attention immediately. Wear a surgical mask and call the University Medical Centre or your nearest clinic ahead of your visit. You should also inform the doctor of your travel history. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has informed and reminded healthcare practitioners to be vigilant for cases and how to manage them. All suspected cases seen at various healthcare settings will be reported to MOH immediately and referred to hospitals for further assessment and treatment.
29. A member of my family/household has acute respiratory illness. Can I work from home instead of the office?
If a member of your family or household has acute respiratory illness or COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough), you should:
30. A member of my family/household has acute respiratory illness, and I was absent for my examination/in-class assessment on campus. What must I do?
If you had missed your on-campus exam or in-class assessment because a member of your family or household has acute respiratory illness or COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough), you should:
Nanyang Technological University
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