Approval for new pass for migrant workers to visit 4 popular spots will be almost instantaneous: MOM

MOM said the new pass system is to manage potential crowding at popular locations, such as Chinatown. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Applications for a new pass from this Friday (June 24) for migrant workers to visit Chinatown, Jurong East, Little India and Geylang Serai on Sundays and public holidays will be approved almost instantaneously.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in response to queries from The Straits Times that applicants need to give only the date of visit and preferred visit location when applying via the SGWorkPass mobile app.

"The pass is valid for the whole day and will be approved almost instantaneously," a spokesman for the ministry said on Wednesday.

A small number of special pass holders do not have access to SGWorkPass, and they will not be required to apply for the pass when visiting the community, said MOM.

The new Popular Places Pass is an easing of Covid-19 curbs requiring migrant workers to have an exit pass when leaving their dormitories for any destination in the community.

Workers living in dorms were largely confined to their quarters and work sites in the first 17 months of the pandemic, before a pilot programme was introduced last September for up to 500 fully vaccinated workers a week to be able to go back into the community.

This exit pass system was progressively ramped up, and as at April, MOM said up to 25,000 workers could visit the community on weekdays and 50,000 during weekends and public holidays.

The Popular Places Pass was announced on June 10.

MOM said the pass is aimed at managing potential high footfall at the four spots on Sundays and public holidays.

On Wednesday, the ministry also provided the boundaries for the four locations that require the pass. Details can be found at this website.

ST visited the four spots on Sunday and found that only six out of 60 workers it spoke to knew about the new pass.

MOM said on Wednesday it will be working with stakeholders to raise awareness about the pass among the migrant workers.

For instance, it said its officers will be conducting random checks at the four locations on Sundays and public holidays, and will advise and educate workers without a pass to apply for it.

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