The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported on 14 July 2021 that there were a total of 54 COVID-19 cases linked to the KTV cluster.
2. Amongst these 54 cases, 30 are non-Singaporeans. They held the following immigration status when they last entered Singapore: Singapore Permanent Residents (2), Work Pass Holders (14), Student’s Pass Holder (1) , Long-Term Visit Pass Holders (5), and Short-Term Visit Pass Holders (8).
3. 25 out of the 30 non-Singaporeans entered Singapore before 2021. Of the eight Short-Term Visit Pass Holders, two had entered Singapore before the imposition of border entry measures last year, on 21 March 2020. Another two had entered Singapore in late 2020 via the Air Travel Pass, which enables foreigners (including business and official travellers) from specific countries/regions, including Vietnam, to seek entry into Singapore. This travel lane was available to visitors travelling from Vietnam to Singapore between 8 October 2020 and 13 February 2021. The remaining four Short-Term Visit Pass Holders entered Singapore in 2021 via the Familial Ties Lane, which facilitates the entry of foreigners with intimate ties in Singapore.
4. The eight Short-Term Visit Pass Holders have remained in Singapore through extension of their short-term visit pass. During this pandemic, ICA has been assessing applications to extend short-term visit passes on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration extenuating reasons, such as international travel restrictions and flight availability, and whether the applicants have family ties in Singapore. For example, Vietnamese nationals can only return to Vietnam through relief flights arranged by the Vietnamese authorities.
5. All the MOM-issued pass holders entered Singapore before the imposition of border entry measures last year, on 21 March 2020. This was when entry approvals were introduced to manage COVID-19 importation and transmission risks.
6. The Multi-Ministry Task Force said on 14 July 2021 that the first case linked to this cluster is a Short-Term Visit Pass holder from Vietnam. According to checks by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), this Vietnamese national entered Singapore in February 2021 via the Familial Ties Lane, sponsored by a Singapore Citizen who is her boyfriend.
7. Short-term visitors cannot engage in any form of employment (paid or unpaid), or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore. Those who are found to have broken this law are liable to be prosecuted, or have their visit pass cancelled, and deported and be barred from re-entering Singapore.
8. Police investigations into possible illegal, including vice-related activities within this KTV cluster are ongoing. If the investigations show any criminal offence on the part of these foreigners, ICA and MOM will take firm action against them, including cancelling their work pass, student’s pass or visit pass, and deport them. Employers who illegally employ these pass holders, or abet these pass holders in illegal employment will also face enforcement actions, such as a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $30,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both. Their work pass privileges may also be suspended.
9. Police are also investigating the pivoted outlets which the COVID-19 positive cases had visited, to determine if any criminal offences are disclosed. Any breaches of safe management measures would also be looked into.
10. The Police and relevant authorities will also be stepping up enforcement against breaches of safe management measures, as well as vice and other illegal activities, in the other pivoted KTV outlets.
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
16 JULY 2021