The Big Story: S'pore eases movement restrictions for migrant workers in dormitories

SINGAPORE - Catch up on the hottest topics on The Straits Times' weekday talk show.

The Big Story, broadcast every weekday at 5.30pm on Facebook and YouTube, has reporters and senior editors discussing the top stories of the day.

The show is helmed by multimedia correspondent Hairianto Diman and assistant video editor Olivia Quay, and airs live from ST's digital studio.

A pilot programme allowing migrant workers in dormitories to go back into the community is set to start from next Monday (Sept 13). This comes nine months after the scheme was first announced in December last year and more than 16 months after movement curbs were first imposed.

For a start, up to 500 fully vaccinated migrant workers living in dorms that have had no Covid-19 cases in the previous two weeks will be allowed to visit pre-identified locations in the community for up to six hours each week.

These dorms will also need to have good safe living measures in place and must have a 90 per cent vaccination rate.

Associate Professor Alex Cook, vice-dean of research at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, weighs in on this development.

Meanwhile, more Primary 1 places will be set aside from the next registration exercise to take in children who do not qualify for priority admission. This is to ensure that more children can attend a school near their homes.

From 2022, the number of places reserved for this group will be doubled to 40, said the Ministry of Education on Thursday.

They are currently eligible for Phase 2C of the annual exercise - the open phase for those who have no links with the school and is based on home-to-school distance.

And in this week's Life Picks, journalist Toh Wen Li talks about the Silver Arts Festival, which is back for its milestone 10th edition. Separately, senior food correspondent Wong Ah Yoke shares more on renowned chef Janice Wong's newest venture - ice cream kiosk Softhaus.