With the Ministry of Health’s raising of DORSCON from Yellow to Orange, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that additional measures to protect staff and students against the 2019 novel coronavirus will be added to the existing precautionary measures in schools in Singapore.
Suspension of Inter-school and External Activities
The new measures announced on 7 February 2020 include suspending all external school activities and inter-school activities till the end of the March school holidays. The last day of the March school holidays is Sunday, 22 March 2020.
Activities which are affected include the National School Games and learning journeys. According to a press release by the Ministry of Education, “These additional measures are intended to help schools minimise exposure of students to the public and avoid mixing of students across schools.”
The new measures add on to previously announced safeguards which include suspension of large group and communal activities such as assemblies, camps and mass celebrations. Recess times in schools are also being staggered. The MOE also said that school-based Co-Curricular Activities and after-school programmes may continue in smaller groups.
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MOE has also rolled out an educational package to teach students about virus transmission and what can be done to prevent it.
Precautions in the Preschool Sector
In a Facebook post, Desmond Lee, Minister for Family and Social Development, highlighted steps which are being taken in preschools. These include restricting of the entry of casual visitors to minimise the risk of community transmission and limiting the movement of staff across different preschools and facilities.
These precautions take effect from 8 February 2020.