22 people charged with breaching SHN in 2020

SINGAPORE – Twenty-two people were charged with breaching stay-home notice (SHN) requirements last year, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Monday (Feb 8).

They included a 34-year-old Singaporean man who breached his 14-day SHN in March last year after returning from Myanmar to eat bak kut teh, as well as a former nurse who left her residence during her SHN period to buy bubble tea.

She later tested positive for Covid-19.

In its annual statistics report, the ICA said that more than 280,000 SHNs were issued in 2020.

At the peak in April last year, the authority monitored more than 40,000 people placed on SHN.

To help with its enforcement efforts, the ICA last August introduced electronic monitoring wristbands for people serving their SHN at non-dedicated facilities.

More than 16,000 wristbands were issued last year.

“This has allowed ICA to monitor this group of travellers in a more effective and efficient manner, thereby helping to reduce the risk to the community should they breach their SHN,” said the authority.

The ICA also enhanced online services to cater to the increased number of applications for short-term visit pass extensions, as many foreigners found themselves unable to return home as a result of travel restrictions.

It added that it is on track with the implementation of its New Clearance Concept. This will feature a new generation of automated lanes, called the automated border control system, enabling Singaporeans to pass through the gates without needing to produce their passports.

Singapore residents returning home or departing from the country will be able to clear immigration without a passport from 2022. Their identity will be verified primarily through iris and/or facial biometrics.

If the system is unable to detect iris and/or facial biometrics, the Singaporean traveller will be able to use his fingerprints.

“Even as ICA works towards reopening our borders progressively and safely, it will press on with its transformation efforts,” said the ICA.

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