Approval for new pass to 4 popular spots will be almost immediate

Applications for a new pass from this Friday 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.

A small number of Special Pass holders do not have access to the SGWorkPass app, 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 coronavirus 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 had 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.

Yesterday, the ministry also provided the boundaries for the four locations that require the pass. Details can be found at covid-19/safe-rest-day#oepcv

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 yesterday it will be working with stakeholders to raise awareness about the pass among 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 workers without a pass to apply for it.

Young Zhan Heng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline Approval for new pass to 4 popular spots will be almost immediate. Subscribe