COVID-19 Safe Management Measures

Fast and Easy Testing RRT

Mandatory Fast and Easy Testing-Rostered Routine Testing (FET-RRT) regime

As announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on 18 June 2021, Fast and Easy Testing Rostered Routine Testing (FET-RRT) will be made mandatory for staff in certain high-risk settings. This FET-RRT regime is imposed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Regulations.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is working closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to manage and administer mandatory Fast and Easy Testing Rostered Routine Testing (FET-RRT) for individuals/staff working in the following work settings from mid-July 2021:

(a)    Markets and Hawker Centres – all stallholders, stall assistants, and cleaners in the 113 markets and hawker centres managed by NEA/NEA-appointed operators/Town Councils.

(b)    Disinfection Companies listed on NEA’s website – Disinfection workers who perform/are trained to perform disinfection services at non-healthcare premises that have been exposed to confirmed case(s) of COVID-19.

(c)     Retail Malls – Cleaners deployed to work at common areas of retail malls. “Retail malls” also include mixed-use developments and HDB shopping centres. The list of retail malls is identified together with ESG, STB and HDB.

Individuals/cleaners/disinfection workers in the above-mentioned work settings will be required to undergo Antigen Rapid Test (ART) every 7 days (from 13 September 2021) regardless of their vaccination status.

Mode of FET-RRT

Individuals/staff in the above-mentioned work settings are required to fulfil their mandatory FET-RRT requirements via one of the two swab modalities, i.e. at Quick Test Centres (QTCs), or the Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS).

Under ESSS, staff will conduct self-swabs using Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits under the supervision of a trained staff (“Supervisor”) appointed by the firm. Supervision can be done either on-site at the workplace or virtually using tools such as video conferencing. Results of the swab tests must be uploaded promptly to the Swab Registration System (SRS) administered by the HPB. If your firm does not have an SRS account and your staff are placed under the NEA FET regime, you may notify NEA to create an SRS account for your firm.

The costs for the ART kits will be borne by the Government until 31 December 2021. Should there be any changes, affected firms will be notified.


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FET-RRT Workflow

For disinfection workers on FET-RRT via ESSS, the overview of the ESSS process and treatment of swab test results (Negative/ Invalid/ Positive) are shown below.

1 Overview of ESSS process_20211102

Treatment of ART Results

If the worker has obtained an “AG+” test result, firms are strongly recommended to guide the worker to abide by the prevailing management postures for such cases that are set out on MOH’s website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/.

Workers that obtain an “AG Invalid” test result are required to immediately undergo a follow-up ART until they obtain an ‘AG+’ or ‘AG-‘ test result. Both the first “AG Invalid” result and the follow-up test results must be submitted on SRS. Workers who obtain multiple “Invalid” results are advised to visit a licensed ART provider to seek assistance from a professional to perform the test.

**If AG+ cases are due to erroneous recording, please email AskSRS@hpb.gov.sg with the following information:

    a. Worker’s NRIC
    b. 
Name of Worker
    c. 
Date of FET test affected by erroneous result
    d. 
Name of Company
    e. 
Supervisor’s email address
    f. 
Final result to be displayed (AG+. AG- or Remove Test)
    g. 
Screenshot of the SMS received (Optional)

For firms on FET-RRT via QTC mode, you may seek more information from the respective NEA Point-of-Contact (POC), i.e. Place Managers for Markets and Hawker Centres and the respective NEA POC for Retail Malls. A general workflow can be found below.

4 Overview of QTC progress_27Sep21

“Vaccinate or Regular Test” (VoRT) Regime

MOH has announced on 13 August 2021 that the new “Vaccinate or Regular Test” (“VoRT”) regime will apply to the sectors listed in Annex A, starting from 1 October 2021, to enable us to detect possible infections early and keep our workplaces and community safe.

Unvaccinated individuals from the mentioned settings must be tested twice a week using Antigen Rapid Tests (ART), either via ESSS or QTC mode which will be advised by NEA. The VoRT regime will apply concurrently with any existing Polymerase Chain Reaction Rostered Routine Testing (PCR RRT) or Fast and Easy Testing Rostered Routine Testing (FET RRT) regime that these unvaccinated individuals may currently be subject to. Any weekly PCR or ART test undertaken by an unvaccinated individual under their existing mandatory PCR RRT or FET RRT requirements will be recognised as one of the twice weekly test requirements under VoRT.

Should your staff be required to undergo VoRT under NEA’s administration, NEA will be reaching out to your firm to request for details of your employees’ vaccination status and to inform you on the testing mode (i.e. ESSS or QTC mode). Firms should ensure that unvaccinated staff maintain a 3 to 4 day interval between their weekly tests (e.g. if a Worker’s first test of the week is carried out on Tuesday, his or her second test of the week should be carried out on Saturday or Sunday). 

The cost of the ART swab tests taken under VoRT will not be funded by the Government unless the staff is medically ineligible to receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (“Medically Ineligible Worker(s)” or MIW(s)). Firms should verify that MIWs are issued with an original certification or memo by a medical practitioner in Singapore. The certification or memo should be presented to NEA when requested. MIWs without documentary proof or any staff who decline to provide vaccination status will be deemed as unvaccinated and medically eligible for vaccination, thus they would have to bear the cost of the ART swab tests under VoRT. The Government’s provision of ART testing to MIWs will continue through 31 December 2021.

We strongly encourage all employers to facilitate vaccination for your employees. A fully vaccinated workforce ensures a safe workplace and safe environment for everyone.
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References and Resources

References

Resources for firms placed on FET-RRT ESSS

S/NResource Name Description
 1ESSS Guide (English)

Pictorial guides on ESSS process, preparation of ART kits to be distributed to staff, setting-up of ESSS, uploading of ART swab results to SRS.

 2HMI registration siteLink to HMI Institute’s registration page for Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab course

*The 4-hour HMI training (Supervisory Training in ART Self-Swab) will no longer be a mandatory requirement to perform the role of a supervisor for ESSS. Information on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures will be made available on MOH's website. HMI has closed signups for the course and will be suspending the course from 8 November 2021 onwards. Companies who have signed up for the course for this week (1 - 7 November) before the signups were closed will be offered the option to withdraw from the course without penalty. Those who still wish to go though the training will be fully funded by MOH. 

 3Swab Registration System (SRS) Guide
SRS Link
How to use SRS, how to create swab supervisors’ accounts, and how to upload ART results in SRS.
 4HPB ART Operations Playbook for Companies


Includes infection prevention and control guidelines, handling of ART results, exemption of individuals from FET-RRT, recommended ESSS site layout, uploading of ART results to SRS, and management of ART results
(negative / invalid / positive)

 5ESSS Guidebook to using Abbott Panbio ART KitsPictorial guides on ESSS process, preparation of Abbott Panbio ART kits to be distributed to staff, setting-up of ESSS, uploading of ART swab results to SRS.
 6Guidebook to using BD Veritor ART Kits for Self-SwabPictorial guide on self-swabbing using BD Veritor ART kits.
 7Notification of positive ART resultNotification to issue to staff with positive ART result and with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms.
 8Referral note for confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testReferral note to prepare and issue to staff with positive ART result and with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms.
 9Standard notification for display use
Notification 1
Notification 2
Notification to firms and staff on data collection for FET-RRT regime.
10Declaration form for FET-RRT exemptionDeclaration form for staff who needs to be exempted from FET-RRT, i.e. medical contraindications, persons with disabilities, past infection from COVID-19 virus
11ART Kits Replenishment Issues FormLink to request urgent replenishment of ART kits, or to report an increase in headcount.
12COVID-19 Updates Description

Link to latest information on testing protocols, home recovery programme, and other COVID-19 related details and updates. 

13  Helpful HotlinesIf you have further enquiries on FET-RRT, you may contact FET-RRT hotline at 6876 5830. The hotline is available from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm. 

If you experience problems using the SRS accounts and require troubleshooting or have any technical difficulties, you may contact SRS hotline at 6876 5848. The hotline is available from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm. You may also email AskSRS@hpb.gov.sg on your enquiries.


Compliance to FET-RRT and VoRT Requirements

The FET-RRT and VoRT requirements are imposed on Enterprises under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020. Failure to comply with the requirements set out may result in prosecution and/or other enforcement action, including suspension/closure of operations. Compliance checks will be conducted by enforcement teams throughout this period.

Listed disinfection companies will be removed from the NEA website listing if found contravening the FET-RRT requirements.
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FAQs

For FET RRT / VoRT

1.      
What is Rostered Routine Testing (RRT)?

RRT refers to Rostered Routine Testing where individuals will undergo swabbing on a routine basis, e.g. every 7 days. There are 2 types of RRT – Fast and Easy Testing (FET) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). FET is currently conducted by Antigen Rapid Test (ART) using ART kits. This can be done via self-swabbing using ART kits under the supervision of an appointed and trained staff in your firm, or at Quick Test Centres (QTC). A PCR swab test is a more accurate, confirmatory test where the individual will be swabbed by clinicians/trained swabbers.


2.       Is this FET-RRT compulsory? What if my staff are already vaccinated?

Yes, this is a compulsory exercise for the cleaners and workers of the selected groups in high-risk settings (refer to “Mandatory Fast and Easy Testing Rostered-Routine Testing (FET-RRT)” section), regardless whether they have been vaccinated or not. This is because vaccinated individuals may still contract COVID-19 or transmit the infection to others. Staff in other high-risk work settings e.g. F&B outlets, are also required to undergo FET-RRT under other sector leads.


3.       What if my staff are already on RRT under other sectors?

If your staff is already on RRT under other sectors (e.g. working in F&B outlets), he/she does not need to undergo the FET-RRT under NEA.  


4.       My client informed me that my workers are required to be on RRT and have requested that I register for an SRS account to conduct ESSS on my own. Who should I approach to register for an SRS account?

FET-RRT is mandatory for staff working in certain high-risk settings and is administered by various Sector Leads depending on the work premises. A company may have workers undergoing FET-RRT under different Sector Leads due to the different work settings.

Under NEA, the mandatory FET-RRT regimes are administered only for individuals/staff working in the following work settings

(a)    Markets and Hawker Centres – all stallholders, stall assistants, and cleaners in the 113 markets and hawker centres managed by NEA/NEA-appointed operators/Town Councils.
(b)    Disinfection Companies listed on NEA’s website – Disinfection workers who perform/are trained to perform disinfection services at non-healthcare premises that have been exposed to confirmed case(s) of COVID-19.
(c)     Retail Malls – Cleaners deployed to work at common areas of retail malls. “Retail malls” also include mixed-use developments and HDB shopping centres. The list of retail malls is identified together with ESG, STB and HDB.

If your workers are deployed to the above work settings and are not already on NEA’s FET-RRT, please write in to NEA at https://www.nea.gov.sg/corporate-functions/feedback in order for NEA to onboard your staff for the FET-RRT.

For other work settings, if it is mandatory for your staff to be subject to FET-RRT, please approach your client to onboard FET-RRT under their respective Sector Lead(s). You may also refer to the sector-specific COVID-19 guidelines at  https://www.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/sector/ for more information.


5.       We have unvaccinated staff, do we need to do both FET-RRT and VoRT?

As announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on 6 August and 13 August 2021, unvaccinated individuals must be tested twice a week using Antigen Rapid Tests (ART), under the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” (“VoRT”) regime, starting from 1 October 2021, to enable us to detect possible infections early and keep our community safe.

This VoRT requirement is compulsory for staff under the mentioned settings and is in addition to the existing FET-RRT, i.e. the unvaccinated staff will now have to undergo 2 ART tests every 7 days. Firms whose staff are subject to existing PCR RRT or FET RRT regimes can recognise any PCR or ART test undergone by those staff under those regimes during a given week as counting towards the testing requirement of the staff. For the small group that remains medically ineligible for vaccines, the Government will subsidise their tests for the additional test required under VoRT.


6.       How do I know if my unvaccinated staff needs to undergo VoRT under NEA’s administration?

For staff under NEA’s administration for VoRT, NEA will be reaching out to your firm to request for details of your employees’ vaccination status and will provide details on the testing arrangement.


7.       What if my staff do not wish to share their vaccination status?

If the staff is unwilling to provide their vaccination information, they will be treated as unvaccinated for the purposes of the vaccination-differentiated measures and would have to bear the cost of any additional ART tests (i.e. requirement under VoRT) as per the updated advisory on COVID-19 vaccination at the workplace.


8.       Do we need to bear the cost for this FET-RRT? How about the cost of the VoRT?

The cost of FET-RRT will be supported fully by the Government from July to 31 December 2021. The coverage will include the provision of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits.

The cost of the ART swab tests taken under VoRT will not be funded by the Government unless the staff is medically ineligible for vaccination (“Medically Ineligible Worker(s)” or MIWs) and has an original certification or memo issued by a medical practitioner in Singapore. For MIWs without documentary proof or any staff who decline to provide vaccination status, they will be deemed as unvaccinated and medically eligible for vaccination, thus they would have to bear the cost of the ART swab tests under VoRT. The Government’s provision of ART testing to MIWs will continue through 31 December 2021


9.       What is the definition of “Fully Vaccinated”?

a)       Individual must have been vaccinated against a COVID-19 infection by the administration of the appropriate regimen of any approved vaccine*; and 14 days or more have elapsed after the day the individual was so vaccinated.
b)      Individual must have recovered from COVID-19 infection starting from the day the individual first tested positive for SARS-COV-2 via a PCR test and ending 270 days later; or had a second COVID-19 infection and recovered from it starting the day the individual first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via a PCR test for the second COVID-19 infection and ending 270 days later.
c)      Individual must have recovered from COVID-19 infection and must have been vaccinated against a COVID-19 infection by the administration of one dose of any approved vaccine*; and 14 days or more have elapsed after the day the individual was so vaccinated.

*These are limited to: (1) Tozinameran (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine); (2) Moderna COVID-19 vaccine; (3) Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine); (4) Covishield COVID-19 vaccine; (5) Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen COVID-19 vaccine; (6) Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine; (7) Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine; or (8) any other vaccine regimen as approved by the Ministry of Health (“MOH”). Where the individual is vaccinated under (3) to (8), their vaccination records must have been ingested into MOH’s national IT systems before they will be recognised. Please refer to the First Schedule of the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Regulations 2021) for the most updated information on the vaccination regimen and approved vaccines.


10.       What is the definition of “Medically Exempted”?

The medically ineligible for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines includes:

a)       Persons who are known to be allergic to the mRNA vaccine or any of the other components of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
b)      Persons who had developed myocarditis following administration of any mRNA COVID19 vaccine.
c)       Persons who developed a severe adverse reaction to a previous dose of any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and has been determined by a physician that he/she should not receive a second mRNA vaccine dose
d)      Persons with the following conditions, who will hence be severely immunocompromised, and who have not been able to obtain a memo from their specialist to certify that they are eligible for vaccination at that point in time, will temporarily not be eligible for any COVID-19 vaccine under national vaccination programme
            o   Transplant within past 3 months
            o   Aggressive immunotherapy
            o   Active cancer on treatment

11.   What if my staff have medical contraindications and are unable to do the swab test? E.g. recent nosebleed in the past 24 hours, facial / nasal surgery in the last 4 weeks, facial injuries in the last 8 weeks.

Please do not perform the ART self-testing. Instead, please update NEA so that we may consider the staff to be exempted from FET-RRT or involved in other arrangements.


12.   How do we register for ESSS?

An NEA POC would have contacted you to onboard ESSS. If you have not been contacted, please submit a request via the Online Feedback Form and state your firm’s name, UEN, and quote “ART Enquiry” in the description.


13.   We need to engage additional manpower to help us run the ESSS. Can we claim these expenses from the Government?

No, the funding support from the Government does not include the cost of engaging manpower for this FET-RRT. You may identify and appoint suitable individuals from your existing pool of staff where possible. 


14.   How do we obtain the ART kits for FET-RRT?

An NEA POC will approach you to obtain your firm’s details to register for the ART kits. Please provide the relevant information. Upon successful registration, you will be notified to self-collect the first month’s supply ART kits from a designated location. Subsequent months’ supply of ART kits will be determined based on the utilisation rate of the ART kits (i.e. successful uploading of results to Swab Registration System). For any increase in headcount or request for urgent replenishment, firms may inform us via http://go.gov.sg/fet-kits.


15.   Where can we set up the swabbing area? Is there any guidance?

You are advised to identify a suitable and well-ventilated area within your firm to conduct the swabbing exercise. If you are conducting in a public space, you are advised to conduct the swab test at off-peak hours, such as before work or after work and avoid breakfast / lunch / dinner hours to minimise crowd attention. Supervisors should also ensure the set up takes in consideration of Safe Management Measures (SMMs) to ensure the swabbing exercise is safe. Supervisors should also keep a 3-metre distance from the staff conducting self-swab during the exercise.

You may also refer to HPB's ART Playbook.


16.   What if we cannot locate a suitable swabbing area? 

Supervisors may conduct supervision virtually where they watch the staff conduct the swabbing via video-calling platforms (e.g. WhatsApp video, Facetime, Zoom).


17.   What if the staff is sick? Do we still carry out the swab test?

Individuals who are sick and shows signs and symptoms of acute respiratory infection (“ARI”) should not go for the swab test but should visit the doctor at the polyclinic/ General Practitioner (GP) instead to diagnose their symptoms. The ARI symptoms include fever ≥ 37.5°C, cough, runny nose, sore throat, body ache, loss of sense of smell or shortness of breath.


18.   How do we submit the swab test result?

Firms may submit the swab test results to SRS via web portal (excel upload) or mobile portal method. Please refer to the SRS guide. Once the uploading of results to SRS is completed, you will receive an email report update on the upload status (for web portal method) or a success message (for mobile portal method). Please check if the results are uploaded successfully and correct any errors and re-upload amended data for affected records.


19.   How do my staff receive their swab test result? 

Once the swab test results are successfully uploaded onto SRS within the testing day, the staff will be notified via SMS on their result with a link to view the details. Staff may also check the HealthHub App or website for the status of their swab test.


20.   When should I submit the swab test results to SRS?

For AG negative or invalid results, please upload the results to SRS by end of testing day (within 24 hours). For AG positive results, please upload the results to SRS within 12 hours of the tests. SMS notification on test results will only be triggered for test results submitted within 24 hours of swab test.

This process should be repeated every testing cycle (i.e. every 7 days).


21.   Where can we find more information on the ART swab matters?

You may visit the following websites to find out more details about ART swabbing and download relevant posters/guidebooks:

·         http://go.gov.sg/selftestart
·         http://go.gov.sg/art-instructions  


22.   Where can we find more information on COVID-19 related matters? 

You may visit the official COVID-19 website at the following link: https://www.covid.gov.sg/


For Time-Limited ART Kits (For Workplaces Not Subject to Mandatory RRT Testing Regimes)

1.       Can we purchase our own ART kits and not sign up for the free time-limited ART kits?

Yes, firms may choose to purchase ART kits from the private market and implement their own testing for their staff. In this case, firms would not be subject to the compliance and reporting requirements. The application for the time-limited ART kits is voluntary, even though firms are strongly encouraged to do so.


2.       Do we need to report the test results in the Swab Registration System (SRS)?

Under the voluntary testing, firms do not need to submit the test results in SRS. Instead, firms are obliged to ensure the onsite staff duly perform the ART, collate the results, and submit them to https://go.gov.sg/time-limited-rrt-art-results-declaration on a monthly basis (i.e. two rounds of submissions will be required).


3.       Will we be issued extra ART kits, in case of invalid results?

This is a one-time distribution. As the issued ART kits are rounded up to the nearest box quantity, there may be extra ART kits which can be used to cover re-testing in case of invalid results. If the extra kits are insufficient, firms may procure the additional ART kits from the private market for the affected staff to complete the 8-weeks testing regime. Otherwise, firms should indicate that the reason for non-testing in subsequent weeks is due to insufficient ART kits from past invalid results.


4.       Where can we find more information on the time-limited ART kits matters?

You may visit https://go.gov.sg/time-limited-rrt-art.