Precautionary measures to protect the NTU community against COVID-19.
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.
1. Why are employees in the education sector prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccination?
The vaccination of employees complements existing efforts in keeping our educational institutions safe. As our employees come into contact with a large number of students, this can further minimise transmission risks in our institutions.
Vaccination is critical to protect us, our families, colleagues and students against COVID-19. Vaccination also protects those in our community who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. This collective protection will become more effective as more people are vaccinated and is a key enabler allowing us to return to normalcy.
2. Who will be included for the vaccination?
Currently, all Singaporeans and long-term residents aged 40 and above are eligible for vaccination. To complement the earlier vaccination exercise for personnel in education institutions and help keep students and employees safe, all AU employees including vendors under the age of 40 will also be invited to be vaccinated.
3. Is it compulsory for employees to be vaccinated?
While it is not compulsory for employees to be vaccinated, we would like to strongly encourage our colleagues to come forward to be vaccinated if you are medically eligible. All of us in the educational institutions have a duty of care to our students. When more of us are vaccinated, we would then be able to better protect ourselves and our students, and keep our institutions safe.
4. Can I work in an educational institution if I do not get vaccinated?
Yes, employees who are not vaccinated can still continue working in the educational institution.
5. Can I get re-deployed to a backroom work with less exposure if I do not get vaccinated as I am not medically eligible?
In general, no re-deployment is required for employees who are not vaccinated. Vaccination offers an added protection to employees and reduce transmission risk, but not getting vaccinated does not render you ineligible to perform your current role.
REGISTRATION FOR VACCINATION
6. Can I take my time to sign up for vaccination?
The SMS includes a unique booking link to make an appointment to be vaccinated. You have 14 days from the receipt for the SMS to schedule an appointment via the booking link.
Within the 14 days, you will have priority to schedule your appointment. If you have not booked a slot within the 14-day time limit but are still keen to be vaccinated, you may re-register their interest and be notified to make an appointment when there are slots available. You can re-register by clicking on the same unique link in the original SMS notification.
7. Do I need to inform my supervisor of my vaccination appointment?
Please keep your supervisors/reporting officers informed of your vaccination appointment, so that staggering within the departments could be planned if necessary to ensure business continuity.
It would be helpful if you could schedule your appointment for both doses such that it avoids clashes with periods of critical University activities.
8. Can I ask for time off from work to attend my vaccination appointment?
Employees may request time off to attend the earliest vaccination appointment. Please directly check with your supervisor/reporting officer in advance.
9. Can I reschedule my vaccination appointment?
Yes, you may reschedule your appointments using the same registration link in the original SMS. When doing so, please take into consideration the timing of both doses and avoid the periods of critical school activities. You should also update your supervisor/reporting officer in advance.
10. If I want to wait till more are vaccinated and more data on safety is released, will I still have an opportunity to be vaccinated later?
You may get vaccinated later when the vaccination is open to the general population.
11. If I am on medical leave or unwell, should I still go for the vaccination?
Please do not go for the appointment. You should only take the vaccination when you are well. If you have not taken your first dose, please cancel and rebook both appointments using the same registration link issued via SMS. If you have taken your first dose and wish to reschedule your second dose, please call MOH at 1800 333 9999.
TAKING THE VACCINATION
12. How many doses are there?
The vaccine consists of two doses, with the second dose due 6 to 8 weeks after the first dose. You must receive both doses to have the full vaccine protection.
13. Is COVID-19 vaccination safe for those with chronic illness such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes?
The study population for Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna's phase 3 trials included persons with medical comorbidities, who were at risk of serious, life-threatening disease and death from COVID-19 infection, and there were no safety concerns reported in this group. Persons with chronic illnesses are recommended to receive the vaccine for personal protection as well as protecting their loved ones. They can also seek the advice from the attending doctors at the Vaccination Centres.
AFTER THE VACCINATION
14. Are there any side effects? What should I do if I suffer from any side effects?
The vaccine has been assessed to be safe for use. However, you may experience common side effects, similar to other vaccines. Most side effects are mild or moderate, and usually get better within a few days. The table below lists some common side effects that have been reported with this vaccine, and how to manage them.
|Side Effects||How to Manage|
|Pain, redness, swelling at the injection site||Paracetamol 1 to 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed|
|Headache, muscle pain, joint pain|
|Lymph node swelling at neck or arms||Usually gets better by itself in a week or so|
See a doctor if:
- The side effects persist or get worse
- The fever persists for more than 48 hours (2 days)
In very rare cases, this vaccine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include: difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, throat, eyes or lips, a fast heartbeat, dizziness and weakness, a bad rash all over your body. If you experience a severe allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Call 995 or go to the nearest A&E immediately.
15. Can I take leave if I am unable to work from the side effects of the vaccination?
If you suffer side effects such that you are unable to work, you should report your absence to your reporting officer in the usual way, and apply for call-in sick leave to rest at home.
16. What sorts of activities will vaccinated persons be allowed to do (e.g. karaoke)? Will they be exempted from measures such as pre-event and/or pre-departure/ entry to Singapore testing? What about public health measures such as quarantine?
While there is evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing symptomatic disease, the extent of their ability in preventing transmission to others is still being studied.
Hence, vaccinated persons should still continue to adhere to public health and general safe management measures such as mask wearing.
To continue to keep our AUs safe, the SMMs will remain even after the vaccination exercise is completed. The SMMs will be adjusted accordingly based on the national posture.
For more information, visit the vaccination microsite at https://vaccine.gov.sg.
Information on the COVID-19 vaccinations can also be found at https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vaccination.
For other queries pertaining to vaccination registration, health and safety, post vaccination matters, please contact MOH’s hotline @ 1800 333 9999 for assistance.
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.
- Classes are limited to not more than 50 people, where lessons will be held in a sufficiently large venue to ensure safe distancing among students. Ensure that the necessary precautionary measures are followed, including SafeEntry and QR code check-in/out.
- Use the disinfectant wipes provided and wipe down the table top before and after lessons or self-study in the tutorial / seminar rooms and labs, to ensure surfaces are clean and ready for the next user.
- Anti-microbial coating has been applied on the touchscreens and on all audio-visual equipment in the lecture theatres, tutorial rooms and labs.
- During lessons, students should sit with your assigned discussion/work groups, and minimise intermingling between groups.
- To facilitate better safe distancing, students are requested to only go to academic areas or schools when there are scheduled lessons or lab sessions.
- During the Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) period, employees who are working from home must ensure that they can effectively continue their job remotely with minimal disruption. Employees working from home may be required to return to the campus at short notice should the need arise, and continue to require vacation leave approval if they seek to undertake personal travel.
- Employees and contract workers whose work must be done on campus will be allowed to return to campus. This includes those who conduct/ support in-person classes, provide other essential services, such as student counselling, IT support, lab-based support, campus housing, facilities management, or access lab-based equipment, or have projects and tasks that cannot be done remotely.
- All employees on campus must adhere strictly to safe management measures. This includes using TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-in/out, temperature monitoring, maintaining safe distancing of at least 1 metre, and wearing face masks at all times. Where applicable, employees will be rostered for their return to campus. Staggered start times and flexible working hours should be implemented to ensure that travel is safe for employees commuting on public transport.
- Researchers who require access to specialised equipment/resources on campus may return to their workplace on a need-to basis. Please note all regulations and laws pertaining to safety and research are still in force.
- Employees and researchers who face any difficulties are advised to speak to their supervisor or HR partner directly, so that a solution can be worked out together.
- Everyone is required to comply with the prevailing safe distancing and other SMMs at all times. In-person social gatherings should be avoided as far as possible.
- Essential work-related events, e.g. key meetings and staff training, can proceed in-person if they cannot be converted to fully virtual, but must adhere strictly to the prevailing safe management measures, including safe distancing of at least 1 metre, wearing of masks at all times and a maximum of 50 people in attendance. Meals and refreshments should not be served during the work-related events.
- Large events at NTU will remain capped at 50 people. All non-essential events and those involving more than 50 people should shift online or remain postponed to a later date.
- Only business-related visitors will be allowed to campus. One day before their visit, these visitors must be pre-registered and submit their health declaration form. They will also be subjected to a temperature check on the day of their visit.
- Campus tours and non-business-related visits remain suspended until further notice.
- Hall residents must observe a cap on the number of distinct visitors allowed in hall rooms in a single day. Residents are only allowed to have up to 3 people in a single room, and up to 5 people in a double room in a single day. This includes the room resident(s). The visitors must be from the same hall precinct as the room resident. No external visitors (i.e. not from the same hall precinct) to hall rooms are allowed.
- Gatherings in groups of more than 5 persons are not permitted, whether in common areas of halls, such as the TV lounge and recreation room, or other areas on campus.
- Individuals should continue to limit their overall number of social gatherings to not more than 2 per day. Campus residents should also observe all safe management measures at all times, including wearing of masks and maintaining at least 1 metre safe distancing.
With effect from 21 June:
If the local COVID-19 situation remains under control, the Government may allow the resumption of the following activities:
- Dining in for up to 2 people per group will be allowed at NTU canteens, food courts and F&B outlets. Diners must be seated at least 1 metre apart, or if this is not possible, at least 1 metre apart between groups of not more than 2 persons. There should be at least 1 metre distancing between persons in queues. Individuals should mask up when not consuming food and beverage and leave the dining hall immediately after finishing their meals.
- Residents and employees are advised to use food delivery services to avoid queuing and congestion at the F&B venues.
- Hall cleaning has been ramped up with additional cleaning of common areas, including the proactive use of disinfectants in all hall toilets.
- The residential hall check-in period will be staggered over several weeks to ensure safe distancing during the move-in period.
- Keep our campus shuttle buses safe by refraining from talking on the phone or to one another whilst travelling on the shuttle buses. Even though the frequency of shuttle buses has been increased, everyone is encouraged to cater for extra travelling time to get to and around the campus. Campus residents are encouraged to work together to keep your respective residential hall precincts safe.
- Indoor and outdoor sports facilities are scheduled to reopen from 21 June.
- When sports facilities are allowed to reopen, please make a booking online before heading to the sports facilities via the Sports & Recreation Centre Online Booking System. Bring your own towels and exercise mats when going to the gym, and wipe down all equipment before and after use.
- Gyms and fitness/ dance/ exercise studios may resume indoor mask-off sports activities, subject to the prevailing national guidelines. Individuals should have their masks on before and immediately after the activity, and should restrict their use of these facilities to not more than 2 hours each time.
- Outdoor sports and exercise activities may continue, subject to a cap of 30 people per activity, and up to 5 persons per group.
1. Which are the countries/cities where essential business travel is allowed?
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.
Please visit the ICA SafeTravel website for the latest information.
4. Can I travel to Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan or Republic of Korea under Singapore's Reciprocal Green Lane arrangement with these countries?Singapore's Reciprocal Green Lanes with Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Republic of Korea are currently suspended until further notice. Please visit the ICA SafeTravel website for the latest 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.
Visit the ICA SafeTravel website for more information.
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.
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.
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
11. What happens if my return to Singapore is delayed due to reasons beyond my control?
Employees on personal travel and whose return to Singapore is delayed must use their Annual Leave for any additional days missed at work. In the event that their Annual Leave is insufficient for this purpose, they will be placed on No-Pay Leave until they return to work.
Employees who are required to travel due to family emergencies and whose return to Singapore is delayed must use their Annual Leave for any additional days missed at work. In the event that their Annual Leave is insufficient for this purpose, they will be placed on No-Pay Leave thereafter with half-pay for up to one month, until they return to work.
Faculty who are required to travel due to family emergencies and whose return to Singapore is delayed must use their Annual Leave for any additional days missed at work. In the event that their Annual Leave is insufficient for this purpose, they will be placed on No-Pay Leave thereafter with half-pay for up to one month, until they return to work. They will be allowed to fulfil their teaching obligations through online means where possible. They do not need to apply for Annual Leave on those days when they have to conduct lessons while they are overseas.
Please refer to the latest advisories for more details.
12. When is NTU implementing the TraceTogether-only SafeEntry system?
SafeEntry check-ins with the TraceTogether app or token will be mandatory at all NTU campus venues effective 17 May 2021. SafeEntry is the national digital check-in system that logs individuals' entry into and exit from a venue to facilitate contact tracing.
Employees, students and visitors may no longer gain entry to NTU campus venues by scanning SafeEntry QR codes with their phone cameras, or through the SingPass mobile app, or barcodes on their NRIC. They must instead use either the TraceTogether token or app with Bluetooth turned on. Please download the TraceTogether app on your mobile device, if you have not already done so.
13. 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.
14. Many of the entrances and exits to buildings and facilities are now cordoned off. Is this really necessary?
While 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.
15. What are the precautionary measures in place on the use of the University's sports facilities?
Indoor and outdoor sports facilities are scheduled to reopen from 21 June 2021.
When sports facilities are allowed to reopen, please make a booking online before heading to the sports facilities via the Sports & Recreation Centre Online Booking System. Use the SafeEntry and NTU QR Code to check-in/out to facilitate contact tracing. When going to the gym, bring your own towels and exercise mats, and wipe down all equipment before and after use.
16 Are team sports such as basketball and soccer allowed?
In line with Sport Singapore's advisory on 11 June 2021, gyms and fitness/ dance/ exercise studios may resume indoor mask-off sports activities, subject to the prevailing national guidelines. Individuals should have their masks on before and immediately after the activity, and should restrict their use of these facilities to not more than 2 hours each time. Outdoor sports and exercise activities may continue, subject to a cap of 30 people per activity, and up to 5 persons per group.
17. Are campus residents allowed to self-organise large group activities in the halls or at sports facilities?
During the Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) period, gatherings in groups of more than 5 persons are not permitted, whether in common areas of halls, such as the TV lounge and recreation room, or other areas on campus. Individuals should continue to limit their overall number of social gatherings to not more than 2 per day. Campus residents should also observe all SMMs at all times, including wearing of masks and maintaining at least 1 metre safe distancing. Disciplinary action will be taken for breach of any of these safe management measures.
18. 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.
19. Must I wear a mask?
As of 14 April 2020, 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:
- Wash your hands frequently with liquid soap.
- Always wash your hands after sneezing, coughing, cleaning the nose; going to the toilet; and before touching the eyes, nose and mouth, or preparing food.
- You can also build up your body's immunity by adopting a healthy lifestyle – eat well, get plenty of rest and sleep, exercise, and refrain from smoking.
20. 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.
21. 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:
- Inform your department head and HR business partner.
- Work from home and do not come to campus, so as to reduce the risk of community transmission.
- Submit a copy of your family/household member's Medical Certificate to your Reporting Officer so that it will not be counted against your paid sick leave entitlement.
22. 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:
- Stay at home and do not come to campus, so as to reduce the risk of community transmission.
- Submit a copy of your family/household member's Medical Certificate to your School administrator within 2 working days from the day of exam or 7 working days from the day of the in-class assessment.
- Check with your course coordinator or School administrator on what to do for your missed exam/in-class assessment.