With only a few more days left to her 21-day stay-home notice (SHN), Sharon Au was comfortably ensconced in her hotel room and had yet to feel sick of the isolation.
The former actress-host even documented herself practising the violin, guitar and keyboard while dressed up in gowns on her Instagram account.
The 45-year-old was planning to serve her quarantine in style till June 28 at a hotel in Orchard Road since arriving in Singapore from Paris, where she is based, on June 7.
She is back home to visit her mother, which she does every year.
Although she had dreaded the experience at first, when Au received a text from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on June 23 at 1.30pm that her SHN was going to be cut short and she could check out the next day (June 24), she felt reluctant to leave her current peace and quiet.
The Ministry of Health announced on June 23 that new travellers arriving from higher-risk countries or regions will serve a 14-day SHN instead of a 21-day one at dedicated facilities. Affected travellers who are currently serving SHN will have their period reviewed and be informed of check-out arrangements separately.
Au told The New Paper while she was packing her bags: “I got used to my solitude… My little cocoon here is sufficient.”
She even contemplated staying until June 28 as planned since she had already paid $3,300 for the accommodation, but her mother told her to “not be mad”.
The hotel will be refunding her for the four days.
Nevertheless, Au – who has tested negative for Covid-19 three times – is excited to see her mother, who was “desperately packing” to ready the home for her daughter.
This is Au’s second SHN experience. She returned to Singapore in July last year and served SHN at Marina Bay Sands, which she did not need to pay for.
Au had resolved to remain positive and focused and not feel miserable, so she occupied herself with various activities.
She has been keeping fit on her stationary bicycle that she rented from happyshn.com for $160 and practising yoga.
Fiona Fussi’s third SHN
Local model Fiona Fussi, 25, who was serving a 21-day SHN at Sheraton Towers Singapore after a work trip in Paris, checked out on June 24 as well.
This was her third SHN – her first was at Orchard Hotel and second at Royal Plaza on Scotts – and she joked that “many call me a quarantine veteran at this point”.
She kept busy by working out, spinning on a CruCycle Studio Bike, watching Netflix, beading, and playing games with friends on Nintendo Switch.
But her early release could not have come at a better timing.
She said on Instagram that although she felt fine for the first 14 days of the quarantine, she “hit a block” and felt “stressed” and “unsettled” after Day 16 and 17.
Her hotel room did not have openable windows, so she didn’t have fresh air for a total of 19 days. She said black mould started growing all over the walls after Day 14 and “that’s not healthy”.
Fussi told TNP: “Twenty-one days is rough but after Day 16 and 17 is the hardest because the body doesn’t understand what the mind does.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who’s not excited to have freedom and be able to go home and meet friends and family.”
This article first appeared on The New Paper.