The Minister of State for Home Affairs (Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim) (for the Minister for Home Affairs) in response to parliamentary question by Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis to the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the total number of Stay-Home-Notice and Quarantine Order breaches to date; (b) what is the range of enforcement actions taken; (c) what is the protocol for the use of the Homer mobile application; and (d) whether its use is compulsory for all Long-Term Visit Pass holders and visitors to Singapore.
Mr Speaker, as at 25 January 2021, a total of 308,442 Stay-Home Notices (SHNs) and 268,385 Quarantine Orders (QOs) have been issued. Of these, there have been 367 breaches of SHN and 130 breaches of QO.
Those who breach the SHN and QO may be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act and be liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. For example, on 17 July 2020, a Singaporean was sentenced to three months of imprisonment for evading the service of a Home Quarantine Order (HQO) on four occasions and for refusing to comply with the HQO. Members may also recall the case of a Singaporean who returned to Singapore from Myanmar in March last year and immediately breached his SHN by eating “bak kut teh” at a hawker centre followed by buying groceries at a supermarket. He was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment.
Agencies may also take administrative actions against those who breach SHN or QO. For example, in November 2020, MOM revoked the work passes of four work-pass holders who breached their SHN requirements. Last year, a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) lost his PR status and was barred from re-entering Singapore after he breached SHN requirements.
We have adopted a range of technological solutions to monitor individuals on SHN and QO.
Since August 2020, all individuals who are serving SHN at their place of residence are required to don an electronic monitoring device for the duration of SHN. These devices are issued to the travellers after immigration clearance and will need to be activated once they reach their place of residence. The devices use GPS and 4G/Bluetooth signals to determine if persons on SHN are within the range of their place of residence. During the 14-day SHN period, persons wearing these devices may receive notifications on the devices and need to acknowledge them in a timely manner. Any attempt to leave their place of residence or tamper with the electronic device will result in alerts being sent to the authorities, who will then conduct follow-up investigations, and take further enforcement actions if necessary.
Similarly, Persons Under Quarantine, or PUQs in short, are required to don electronic monitoring devices to ensure that they do not breach their QO.
Electronic monitoring devices are compulsory for all individuals who are on SHN or QO. This includes Singaporeans, PRs, Long-Term Pass Holders and short-term visitors.
The Member mentioned about the HOMER App. The HOMER App was introduced on 7 April 2020 and is currently used alongside the electronic monitoring devices deployed to monitor the health and location of PUQs. The HOMER App uses facial recognition and location tracking to verify the PUQs’ identity and location respectively, to ensure that they do not breach their QO requirements.
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