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FAQs on COVID-19 Related Policies and Guidelines

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main /

The FAQs reflect NUS policies and guidelines. We will continue to update and add to these FAQs as and when there are new advisories and measures. In addition to the University-wide information on OSHE FAQs, you should also read up your Hostel, Faculty or School-specific FAQs for guidance.

Travel Advisory & Border Control Measures

Q. I plan to head back home this summer and return to Singapore next semester. Is there anything I need to take note of in light of the COVID-19 situation?

GOING BACK to your home country:

Please check on your home country’s movement control or border restrictions to determine if you can head home.

COMING BACK to Singapore:

International Students on Student’s Pass (STP) who are planning to enter Singapore, will require an entry approval before commencing their journey.

NUS will apply for your entry approval on your behalf, based on your Overseas Travel Declaration.

Therefore, you must update your Overseas Travel Declaration promptly if there are any changes/cancellations to your travel plans. If you are unable to provide flight details at the point of making your travel declaration, you should look at all available flight routes, provide an indicative flight date and enter “ASAP – within two weeks” in the flight details field. 

proceed with your trip to Singapore unless you have received the approval letter of entry (via your NUS email account).

Refer to this document for full details.

Q. Can passport holders from visa required countries/ regions still enter Singapore with a previously issued short-term visa or multiple-visit visa? 
All short-term visitors will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. Spouse and child(ren) of Singapore residents (Singapore citizens and permanent residents) who need to visit Singapore due to extenuating reasons may submit their application for entry to ICA.

For full list, visit OSHE FAQs


Campus Housing

 Q. I am an international student and I have decided to remain in Singapore/my hostel after the Singapore government announced the extended Circuit Breaker period. However, I previously missed the application period for vacation stay. What should I do now?

If you have not already applied for on-campus vacation stay, you may:

(a)   for current residents: submit an application here from 25 April 9am to 29 April 6pm (Please refer to the Office of Student Affairs email sent on 24 April 2020); and

(b)  for non-residents: submit an application here from 27 April onwards.

For current residents who had applied for vacation stay, the Office of Housing Services has also extended the payment deadline from 26 April to 8 May. Please refer to the Office of Student Affairs email sent on 24 April 2020.

Typically, all international students who submitted their vacation stay application in the portal within the stipulated application period are granted their request.

The official check-out date for Semester 2, AY2019/2020 is 10 May 2020. Residents without vacation stay will have to check out by 10 May 2020, 12 noon.
 Q. I have decided to remain in my hostel but have difficulty paying by the stipulated deadline of 8 May 2020.

If you have difficulty paying by 8 May 2020,

1. You can write to your respective OHS Management Office to arrange an instalment plan for up to 6 months. 

2. If you are a full-time undergraduate student, you may apply to the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) Undergraduate Financial Aid Portal for an assessment of your financial situation. Only genuinely needy students will qualify for a rental subsidy.
Existing scholarship recipients who are needy may also qualify for a rental subsidy.

a. If you have not applied for Financial Aid for AY2019, please

(i)  submit your Financial Aid application online under Semester 2 of AY2019/20 and upload your supporting documents, which will include the identification and income documents of all your family members staying in the same household; AND

(ii)  write to your respective OHS Management Office to inform them that you have applied for Financial Aid for AY2019, and request for the rental subsidy consideration. OHS will liaise with OFA and consider your request based on your financial assessment, and inform you of the outcome. 

If you had previously applied for Financial Aid for AY2019, please write to your respective OHS Management Office to inform them that you have already applied for Financial Aid for AY2019.  However, if you have seen recent decline in your household income since your Financial Aid application, please upload the relevant supporting documents online at the Undergraduate Financial Aid Portal for a review of your Financial Aid.

Q. Will I be guaranteed housing on campus during the vacation period and next semester? 

For next AY application, below are the relevant application periods:

Student Category

Hostel Type

Exercise (for AY20/21)

Application Period

Result Notification

Acceptance of Offer By

Click to Apply

Current Undergraduate


Semester 1 and 2 (2nd round)*

7 April to 11 May 2020

21 May 2020

26 May 2020


Current Undergraduate


Semester 1 and 2 (2nd round)*

11 April to 11 May 2020

21 May 2020

26 May 2020


International students are assured accommodation in their Year 1 and 2 of their studies in NUS subject to their submission of a hostel application and this is inclusive of the LOA period. Priority is given to students on guaranteed schemes and Residence Admission Scheme (RAS). If you are unsuccessful in your hostel application, you may submit your appeal via the same portal for OSA’s review. If you are still unsuccessful in your appeal, you may consider private hostels which can be found here. Prevailing hostel fees will apply.

 Q. I am an international student and I intend to return home. However, I do not wish to lug my belongings back home. Are there any storage spaces available?

Luggage Storage service is available for international residents in PGPR, UTown, King Edward VII Hall and College Green with a room reservation in Semester 1, AY2020/2021 stay but NOT staying during the vacation. Successful applicants can store their belongings in the trunk room.

Eligible residents can send email to the respective Management Office to submit an application from 27 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays).

For the terms and conditions, please refer here (Appendix B).

Safe Distancing Measures in Halls, Residential Colleges, and Residences during Circuit Breaker Period

Q. Are students allowed to chat at the common areas (e.g. kitchen, corridor, lobby, vending machines)?
Interaction in common areas that is transient and that follows safe distancing guidelines (maintain a 2m distance, for no more than a few minutes) is acceptable. Students should not gather to chat or socialise or for any other purpose - this includes meeting in the common areas, studying in areas that have not been designated for studying, and exercising indoors or outdoors together.
Q. Are students allowed to use the toilet or shower areas at the same time?
Yes, shared toilets and shower areas can be used in the usual way. Students are to leave once they have finished using these areas.
Q. If a study area has been allocated to me, can I use another study area or allow another student to use mine?
No, you must use only the study area that has been allocated to you if that is practiced in the hostel you are staying in. This is to reduce risk of transmission of the virus. Similarly, do not allow another student to use your study area.
Q. If I fall ill during the CB period and have a home outside campus, can I go home?
Yes, if you fall ill during the CB period you can choose to check-out and go home. If your medical condition prevents you from completing the check-out procedures, you will be allowed, on an exceptional basis, to go home and return after the CB period to check out.
Q. Can I go home without checking out during the Circuit Breaker period, and return to pick up my belongings?
If you choose to go home, during the CB period, you will not be allowed to return to the hostel. You can return to the hostel after the CB period to check-out.
Q. How does the hostel ensure residents comply with the guidelines?
Staff and security personnel will step up checks at common corridors and facilities. Any non-compliance of the safe distancing guidelines would be dealt with in accordance to the disciplinary framework.
Q. What happens to residents who do not comply with these guidelines?  
The University has a responsibility for the welfare of its students and will take disciplinary action against those in campus residences who do not comply with these guidelines. The sanctions framework for non-compliance is shown below. Students who repeatedly or egregiously breach the rules may also be referred to the Board of Discipline.





  • 9 demerit points


  • 9 demerit points above the 9 for the first offence

  • Termination of hostel housing agreement

For full list, visit here.

Financial Support

Q. What are some of the financial support to provide relief and assistance to students affected by the COVID-19 situation?

For campus housing financial assistance, please read the detailed instructions under the “Campus Housing” section.

For all other financial concerns, apply for assistance here under Section 2: Application for Financial Aid/Donated Scholarships for Existing Undergraduate Students.


Co-curricular Activities (CCA) Suspension

Q. Will I still be able to attend or take part in my CCAs? 

No. NUS’ CCAs and related events will be further suspended until and including Sunday, 10 May 2020, after which the suspension policy will be reviewed.


Q. Can we still proceed with Orientation?

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases globally and the enhanced safety measures by the Multi-Ministry Task Force, the Freshman Orientation Programme (FOPs) between 1 June to 7 August will be conducted online. Stay tuned for more updates on e-Orientation here

New S/U Policy for Semester 2, AY2019/20 

Q. Does the additional 10 S/U MCs apply to the following modules: 

• Modules that have pre-requisites 
• Level-3000/4000/5000 (e.g., modules that were not SU-able) 
• Core Modules 
• Specialization Modules 
• Modules taken in place of Honours Thesis or FYP 
• Independent Study Modules 

Yes, the additional 10MC of S/U, as well as your carried-forward S/U MC (i.e., existing S/U balance from the Grade-free Scheme) can be applied to all of the above modules taken this semester only, except for final year projects/ honours theses/ honours projects/ dissertation and such. The list of modules excluded from the S/U option can be found here

Q. The circular states "final year projects, Honours Theses and equivalent modules" but I am unsure of what “equivalent modules” mean. 
The “equivalent modules” are referring to Final Year Project/Honours Thesis-type of modules with other possible terminologies like Dissertation, Honours Project, Capstone Project. The list of modules excluded from the S/U option can be found here

For full list, go to student portal.


Temperature Declaration

Q. Can NUS give out free thermometers to all students? While OSA has recently issued some thermometers, they are wiped out almost immediately. Thermometers that were issued during Orientation are no longer functional. Students who do not have thermometers often go to the designated temperature taking point across campuses to do so, and this option may not be available to on weekends or when we are off-campus.

Here are various options to getting a hold of a thermometer:

  1. Purchase one from a pharmacy as most of them would have restocked their supplies
  2. Request one from your Faculty Dean’s Office;
  3. For hostellites, inform your Masters, some stock is available.

Q. I am an exchange student and have gone back to my home country.I am still on the programme and would like to view and receive my results, am I exempted? / I am serving my internship and taking my temperature at my workplace, am I exempted? / I am on medical or personal LOA, am I exempted?

You would have met the compliance rate if you have declared at least 10 times a week (Monday to Sunday) OR made at least one declaration a day.

If you have legitimate reasons why you should be exempted from making daily temperature declarations, submit your exemption request on the Temperature Declaration page and choose a relevant option in the drop-down menu. We want our students to be healthy, not just on weekdays or when they are on-campus. This close monitoring is essential so that if they have fever, they seek treatment immediately.  

How to submit an exemption request:

Step 1:temp declaration 1
Step 2: 

temp declaration 2


Q. Compliance and enforcement will be increasingly difficult in the long run. My worry is that many students will try and "cheat" their way out of the system and this would certainly go against the central purpose of temperature.

This is a real problem and we will do whatever it takes to keep the NUS community safe. The sanctions framework is one such solution. 
Q. Can NUS reset my past temperature declaration record? When will the sanctions be implemented?
 We know that the record in the past is dismal, and we will start calculating the rate of compliance on a ‘clean slate’. Our first step is to ensure the contents of the circular be clearly understood by students. Next, we will create a new normal and get everyone onboard to take and record their temperature. We will send reminders during this process. After a period of time, we will implement the sanctions.

Q. Can there be alternatives instead of sanctions for non-compliance? Compliance should be made as easy as possible and punishment should focus on those that pose a deliberate risk to the NUS community. Here are some options to consider:

  • Give out thermometers to all students or making them readily available for purchase at low cost;
  • Continue to send periodic reminders to all students;
  • Have centralised temperature screenings at designated entry points;
  • Include an option to declare "did not go to campus facilities/interact with other NUS students" where temperature reporting would not be necessary for that day (and punishments would apply for false declarations here)
  • Incentivise (rather than punish) compliance with the temperature taking regime.
Unfortunately our statistics show that only a small percentage of NUS students take and record their temperature regularly. Despite sending a personalised reminder email to each and every student to let him/her know his/her rate of compliance, we did not see an uptick in the compliance rate. We therefore need to take tougher measures. We have considered these alternatives very carefully – the alternatives you have proposed will be made available, except incentivisation.
Answers by Prof Florence Ling, Vice Provost (Student Life). This FAQ first appeared on DOS Update #25.

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