Student who returned from Britain on trial for breaching SHN
A student who returned to Singapore from Britain with flu-like symptoms allegedly breached her stay-home notice (SHN) to dine at a foodcourt at Changi Airport Terminal 1.
Esther Tan Ling Ying, who later tested positive for Covid-19, is said to have also lied about her travel history when she saw a doctor in Clementi that same day.
The 24-year-old Singaporean, who attended a drama school in London, returned on March 23 last year and was issued an SHN, requiring her to remain at her place of residence for a 14-day period. But before heading home, she purportedly ate at the foodcourt with her parents.
She also went to the Clementi Family and Aesthetic Clinic in Clementi Avenue 3 near her home to get some medicine.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani yesterday called Tan's conduct abhorrent and told the court she had flu-like symptoms before her departure from Britain. She tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after returning here. He said the accused "had absolutely no excuse for her breach of the SHN".
In cross-examining the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer who spoke to Tan on her arrival, defence counsel Tan Cheng Kiong said his briefing on the SHN was unclear on what constituted the 14 days. Mr Tan noted that the day of return was stated to be day zero. He said the 14 days would begin on day one and end on day 14.
But DPP Sanjiv said the period from day zero to day one would be the first day.
The officer agreed with the DPP, adding that it was also made clear that those served with an SHN were to return to their homes directly without a detour.
The doctor who saw Tan told the court Tan had lied about her travel history, and complained of having a loss of taste and smell about a week earlier, along with a sore throat. Five days later, Tan's mother visited the clinic for a runny nose but allegedly hid her contact history when questioned by the clinic. Tan's mother is expected to take the stand today.